Children Are Targets Of Nigerian Witch Hunt

Where's the Holy Spirit when you need it?
Link to the news story
This is what happens when you base your beliefs on weak evidence and appeal to tradition and appeal to authority. This is what happens when you don't have firm criteria for good evidence. This is what happens when you don't think for yourself and weigh the evidence. This is what happens when you put your faith in the supernatural. This is the nature of The Beast.

Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities.......

The rainy season is over and the Niger Delta is lush and humid. This southern edge of West Africa, where Nigeria's wealth pumps out of oil and gas fields to bypass millions of its poorest people, is a restless place. In the small delta state of Akwa Ibom, the tension and the poverty has delivered an opportunity for a new and terrible phenomenon that is leading to the abuse and the murder of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children. And it is being done in the name of Christianity.

Almost everyone goes to church here. Driving through the town of Esit Eket, the rust-streaked signs, tarpaulins hung between trees and posters on boulders, advertise a church for every third or fourth house along the road. Such names as New Testament Assembly, Church of God Mission, Mount Zion Gospel, Glory of God, Brotherhood of the Cross, Redeemed, Apostalistic. Behind the smartly painted doors pastors make a living by 'deliverances' - exorcisms - for people beset by witchcraft, something seen to cause anything from divorce, disease, accidents or job losses. With so many churches it's a competitive market, but by local standards a lucrative one.

But an exploitative situation has now grown into something much more sinister as preachers are turning their attentions to children - naming them as witches. In a maddened state of terror, parents and whole villages turn on the child. They are burnt, poisoned, slashed, chained to trees, buried alive or simply beaten and chased off into the bush.

Click here to read the rest of the story


52 comments:

Lee Randolph said...

Hi all,
I may not be able to answer comments until monday.

zilch said...

Witch hunt, witch hunt... hmmm, sounds familiar...

richdurrant said...

For all those who don't count Mormons as Christian, I offer my many thanks.

GordonBlood said...

I would say this is more of a failure of missionaries who dont know what the hell theyre doing rather then the Church itself. You never hear this happen with Anglicans, Catholics or other mainstream denominations; its always those very hard-nosed fundamentalist charismatic churches that have these problems. William Lane Craig has even noticed these problems, claiming that they need to start doing a better job creating a intellectual atmosphere for Christianity.

zilch said...

Gordon, you say:

You never hear this happen with Anglicans, Catholics or other mainstream denominations; its always those very hard-nosed fundamentalist charismatic churches that have these problems.

Do the names Martin Luther and Pope Innocent VIII strike any bells? Sure, most Christians have become more enlightened since then. But the justification for witch hunts, as Lee said, comes straight from the Good Book.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi gordonblood,
yea, what zilch said.
and now how do you expect them to know the difference? They are going on the best information they have. They have tested the spirit and found it valid, evidently. I'd say that they'd say they are real christians, for the same reasons you would say that you are a real christian and that they would say they are filled with the spirit the same way you are. How are you going to refute it? How would you convince them they are wrong?.

So, where is the standard? How are they supposed to know they are caught up in a Fraud? Isn't that supposed to be where the holy spirit steps in and give guidance and understanding?

I'd bet that god is the only thing thats going to change their hearts.

But it would have been better to leave all that stuff about witches out of the bible, wouldn't it? Or to exercise the principle of clarity to ensure this sort of thing didn't happen. But god has a plan, and since he knows all things since before we were created, this little witch hunt is part of it. Just another day for the creator, who knew it before he made it. And more importantly it serves the greater good, so these kids should be happy that they get a chance to serve god like that. Taking one for the team. Can I get an Amen?

By all means lets get christianity to be more rational. Lets introduce some criteria for evidence about these things and test the spirits. But the problem is, that if its man made, then these people will always point back to bible as the last word, and then you're back where you started. With a glaring oversite or a Holy Plan for the greater good from the creator.

Jason said...

I agree with gordonblood. What's going on in Nigeria is awful stuff. These so-called preachers are branding children as witches as a means to make money - a concept completely unfounded in Scripture. This post highlights the wickedness and greed of people. It doesn't debunk Christianity.

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, I've written about this before, here. Are you saying that if you were God and you could foreknow what people would do that you wouldn't unequivacably say, "Thou shalt not kill people who disagree with you, nor shall you torture, and burn people who practice witcraft," and say it as often as needed so that no Church would ever sanction the practice, even if individual Christian wacko's might still do this once in a while, contrary to what is in the Bible?

There is absolutely no justification for God not having done this.

If there is miscommunication between people there is blame to be placed on both sides in most cases, but when it comes to an omnisciently perfectly loving God, the miscommunication blame is largely his. Can you really seriously and rationally deny this?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
how would you convince their congregation they are the victims of fraud?

Shygetz said...

First of all, if your God doesn't like it, come down and do something about it. His religion, people claiming to speak in His name using verses from His Holy Word, His world, His omniscience, His omnipotence, His responsibility.

Second, gordonblood is wrong, wrong, wrong. Have you already forgotten the role of the local Catholic clergy in the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda? That's recent history--shall we go back to WWII and the Catholics active support of the Nazi regime?

If you are speaking specifically of witch-hunts, you still have a way to go. The Uganda Martyrs Guild is a Catholic lay organization that organizes witch and cannibal hunts. Like with other sects, the Catholics do some good in the area, too--however, to say that it never happens to Catholic converts is false. After all, the Malleus Maleficarum was not a document of some obscure Evangelical sect.

Jason said...

Are you saying that if you were God and you could foreknow what people would do that you wouldn't unequivacably say, "Thou shalt not kill people who disagree with you, nor shall you torture, and burn people who practice witcraft," and say it as often as needed so that no Church would ever sanction the practice, even if individual Christian wacko's might still do this once in a while, contrary to what is in the Bible?

Freewill reigns supreme. People chose whether or not to follow God’s commandments every day. God told the Israelites, in clear words, not to worship idols or they would be severely punished. Did this stop them? Absolutely not. Does God ever instruct anyone to cast out witches in exchange for money? No. Does this prevent people from doing it? No. Why? Because people are inherently evil and ones own self-interests often trump the interests of others. The church ‘leaders’ in Nigeria are a case in point.

If there is miscommunication between people there is blame to be placed on both sides in most cases, but when it comes to an omnisciently perfectly loving God, the miscommunication blame is largely his. Can you really seriously and rationally deny this?

Yes, I can because it’s not an issue of miscommunication. It’s an issue of intentional ignorance. "And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:4

Jason said...

Hi Lee,

By using Scripture. There's no record of money ever being a requirement for any kind of blessing or other. The commandment to kill 'witches' is under the old law, not the new. Etc.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
do you think you'd be telling them anything they don't know?

and don't some denominations say that the old laws are in effect unless abolished by the new testament? What does the new testament say about witches? Quite a few passages mention driving out demons in the new testament, so its not like they didn't think it wasn't necessary or they had some rule against it.

zilch said...

jason says:

Freewill reigns supreme. People chose whether or not to follow God’s commandments every day. God told the Israelites, in clear words, not to worship idols or they would be severely punished. Did this stop them? Absolutely not.

Then why, pray tell, did God bother giving people any commandments at all? You can't have it both ways: either God means His commandments to be followed, or not. If He doesn't, it's a waste of His breath. If He does, then He must have wanted the particular commandments He gave to be obeyed. Are you saying that He didn't tell people "thou shalt not kill people who disagree with thee" because He knew they wouldn't obey? And did God perhaps tell people "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", also knowing they wouldn't obey? What nonsense.

Does God ever instruct anyone to cast out witches in exchange for money? No. Does this prevent people from doing it? No. Why? Because people are inherently evil and ones own self-interests often trump the interests of others. The church ‘leaders’ in Nigeria are a case in point.

So you're saying the only evil thing about the Nigerians killing witches is that they demand money for it? True, in the Old Testament it doesn't say one should get paid for this community service, but to the best of my knowledge, it doesn't forbid it either. So why not make a buck? Offing witches is hard work.

Jason said...

do you think you'd be telling them anything they don't know?

Er, yes.

and don't some denominations say that the old laws are in effect unless abolished by the new testament?

Sure, and some denominations say Mary should be worshipped on bended knee. The old law was done away with by the new law. It's well documented in Scripture and there have been countless posts on this topic already.

What does the new testament say about witches? Quite a few passages mention driving out demons in the new testament, so its not like they didn't think it wasn't necessary or they had some rule against it.

People with 'demons' in the NT are never referred to as witches. And these people were healed, they weren't tortured or killed.

Jason said...

Zilch said:Then why, pray tell, did God bother giving people any commandments at all? You can't have it both ways: either God means His commandments to be followed, or not.

I'm not sure where you're drawing this conclusion from. Of course God means to have His commandments followed. Deut 30:15-20.

If He doesn't, it's a waste of His breath. If He does, then He must have wanted the particular commandments He gave to be obeyed.

Naturally.

Are you saying that He didn't tell people "thou shalt not kill people who disagree with thee" because He knew they wouldn't obey? And did God perhaps tell people "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", also knowing they wouldn't obey? What nonsense.

This is a ridiculous argument. God doesn’t force anyone to follow His commandments. The state doesn’t force anyone to follow its laws. It’s up to the individual to abide by the rules in both instances. Follow the laws and be blessed, don’t follow the laws and be punished.

So you're saying the only evil thing about the Nigerians killing witches is that they demand money for it?

Nope, that’s not what I’m saying.

True, in the Old Testament it doesn't say one should get paid for this community service, but to the best of my knowledge, it doesn't forbid it either. So why not make a buck?

Spoken like a true atheist. ☺

billf said...

Yes. *Spoken* like a true atheist. Not *acted* upon like your fellow Christians.

And since your book is so ambiguous, they can justify it to themselves and are probably convinced they are doing right in the name of your god.

Couldn't your god have made things a little more clear?

billf said...

When I first read this, and tried to watch the video, I was really hoping that this was just some reporter out to sell a story. I mean, this can't REALLY be happening, can it?

I am still waiting/hoping for someone to come up and announce that this is just a con job or an extreme exaggeration on the part of the reporter.

Please.

Jason said...

Yes. *Spoken* like a true atheist. Not *acted* upon like your fellow Christians.

I don't consider the church leaders in Nigeria to be 'fellow Christians' :)

Couldn't your god have made things a little more clear?

The Bible's abundantly clear. If one chooses not to follow the rules, it's not because he's confused, it's because he doesn't like what it says.

amy rosebush said...

Nice to be here. I am not a Christian. There, I will get straight to the point. These people are the perfect example of how the Bible was written in the first place. You have a lot of remote and uneducated, dreamless people. They look to someone who claims to have the answers and act as animals towards their own children. They live in pain and poverty, depression and ignorance. This is how the Bible was created. Word spread among aborigonee people. Story upon story. Killing, mayhem, plague, death, promises, HELL, evil, witches.....

It's a disgusting book. If I found out somehow tomorrow that it WAS ALL REALLY GOD'S WORD, I would turn away from god. That would take some balls too considering that if you turn away YOU BURN IN ETERNAL HELL! Wow, there's a motivation. You think you couldn't scare some motivation out of these dumb people?

Look at their faces. Confused, miserable, perplexed. I am angry towards them, yes. But look at them as an example. What kind of books would they write? What would the laws be about their children?


Any of you who come on here saying you believe the Bible to be true, have you ever tried to unattatch from your years of brainwashing long enough to think for yourself? You have to completely seperate from the huge FEAR of god hearing you and sending you to HELL for even thinking freely for a moment.

You are all like these people. You are susceptable to causing others pain and you don't even realize it. Your mind is a playground for any circumstance that resembles the END OF TIMES. You will push your energy forward with the expectation that you are a sinner and you have natural evil in you. You may thwart science by holding ancient beliefs against new methodology.

I am not inherently bad. I am inherently good. I strive for it. I feel it. I believe in helping and hoping and loving. The Bible goes against every fiber in my body.I detest it in every way. I do not even relish the prose of the Psalms and I love peotry. It is a book that holds most of my friends minds. Did you see the picture of the tribal cheif who thought the whole thing was a disaster? I am with him on the outside of a learning curve.

These poor children. I see some of them and I think of my own son. What would make me drive a nail into his head?

I try not to feel hate for the preacher. Do I have to pray to god to feel no hate? No, I don't. Here's how I do it. He is an animal living the life of a supreme being. They are all animals. Their children, if they live, will pull together and their spirits will rise to the top. They will create a bond together and pull each other through. They will teach each other that there is love and that is god.

I wish I had enough to give one of these children a home. No god would ever allow such beautiful creations to suffer so. If god would choose a world, god would never have chosen this world. Let us study those humans around us that are broken and learn about them so that we can strive to fix broken people in the future.

I suppose if I were there, I would be killed. These reporters are amazing. How can they be in the midst of it and not react any more than they did? I don't know. I would be just tearing at my own face in anguish.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi amy,
very elegant comment. Thank you for your contribution.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi jason,
The Bible's abundantly clear. If one chooses not to follow the rules, it's not because he's confused, it's because he doesn't like what it says.
Those preachers and those people are following the bible, so they like what is says right?

They are doing what it says right?

The problem whether you admit it or not is clarity. You perceive the bible one way, the catholics another, the Baptists another, the christadelphians another, and so on and so on.

For something so important, God has violated the principle of clarity and it has resulted in the splintering and loss of integrity of his church. The only one that can stop this is God with a revision of his holy word.

in case you missed it in my other article here is what academia has come up with regarding this concept.

In day to day life as in the study of Argumentation and Informal Logic the Principle of Clarity is essential and is one of a set of rules in a "Code of Conduct for Reasonable Discussants" developed by Frans H. Van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst and published in their book A Systematic Theory of Argumentation: The pragma-dialectical approach.

"Discussants may not use any formulations that are
insufficiently clear or confusingly ambiguous, and
they may not deliberately misinterpret the other
party’s formulations."

Lee Randolph said...

In case anyone is interested, here is a link to my blog which I half-heartedly maintain where I post snippets regarding informal logic including van eemeren and grootendorsts "rules for a critical discussion".
CasualLogically

zilch said...

amy- I will second Lee: welcome. A very heartfelt post.

Jason- perhaps I didn't express myself clearly. I'll try again.

John said:

Are you saying that if you were God and you could foreknow what people would do that you wouldn't unequivacably say, "Thou shalt not kill people who disagree with you, nor shall you torture, and burn people who practice witcraft," and say it as often as needed so that no Church would ever sanction the practice, even if individual Christian wacko's might still do this once in a while, contrary to what is in the Bible?

...to which you replied:

Freewill reigns supreme. People chose whether or not to follow God’s commandments every day. God told the Israelites, in clear words, not to worship idols or they would be severely punished. Did this stop them? Absolutely not. Does God ever instruct anyone to cast out witches in exchange for money? No. Does this prevent people from doing it? No. Why? Because people are inherently evil and ones own self-interests often trump the interests of others. The church ‘leaders’ in Nigeria are a case in point.

Now, it seems to me that you are saying here that God didn't make the commandment that John suggested because it would be disobeyed anyway. Is this what you meant? If so, my question stands: why does God make any commandments at all? Why did He command the Israelites to kill witches? If this is not what you meant, then please explain what you did mean.

About the new law replacing the old: Lee said it. As you know, there is widespread disagreement among Christians about this. Do you believe that all the laws of the Old Testament are rescinded? If not, how do you know, on what authority do you decide, which ones to keep and which ones to chuck? From the standpoint of a Christian, I would say it's an impossible problem, unless you say that God was having a bad hair day for the entire Old Testament, and thus we can safely chuck the whole thing. Of course, that doesn't mean you're home free, as the interpretation of the New Testament is not a piece of cake either: even L. Ron Hubbard couldn't top the wacky surrealism of Revelations.

From the perspective of an atheist, however, it seems perfectly clear: the Bible was written by many people over a long period of time, and while there is a great deal of coherence to a basic story, there are also lots of discrepancies, probably partly due to mistakes and misunderstandings of texts and traditions, but also partly because the different authors had different axes to grind. This is especially apparent, for instance, in the way Jesus is regarded by the Evangelists, as contrasted to Paul's viewpoint.

Thus, it's no surprise that the Bible is full of contradictions and ambiguities, and that it's possible to justify all kinds of behavior scripturally, depending on what parts of the Bible you go by, and how you interpret them.

Jason, you say:

I don't consider the church leaders in Nigeria to be 'fellow Christians' :)

Who exactly is a Christian, then? How do you know who is a Christian and who is not a Christian? As far as I know, the Nigerian witch hunters were merely following the command "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" to the letter. Whether or not they were paid for it is immaterial, as accepting pay for offing witches is not forbidden in the Old Testament (as far as I know).

Or do you go by behavior? This is the old works/faith debate, also insoluble. To be fair, it's also insoluble for atheists: there is simply no rational way to apportion blame or responsibility fairly depending on what someone believes, or claims to believe, or doesn't believe. It's a problem we have to live with, and another reason to be flexible and not adhere to absolute morals.

For an example of how some Christians solve this conundrum, go check out the contortions at Vox Populi about the recent shootings in Colorado. According to Vox Day, despite the fact that the gunman, Matthew Murray, was homeschooled in a conservative Christian family, attended church, professed believing in God (although not the Christian God, in his published rantings) and an afterlife, he was an atheist. Why? Because shooting innocent people is congruent with atheist philosophy, but not with Christian belief.

Of course, Vox Day cannot know what Murray "really" believed, any more than he can know what Jeanne Assam, the security guard who shot him, "really" believes. This does not stop VD from claiming Murray was an atheist, and Assam is a Christian, solely based on their actions. Now, that would be fine, judging people by their fruits, if it were consistent. But of course VD, as a nice fundamentalist, also says that nice atheists will go to Hell. And of course, theoretically, Murray might have repented just before Assam shot him, so he might well go to Heaven. So it's heads I win, tails you lose.

Jason- I suspect you wouldn't agree with VD about this. But it seems to me that you are inconsistent in the same way he is: judging by works, and trying to justify it post facto by faith, which requires an elaborate dance, since the laws of the faith are so muddled.

amy rosebush said...

Zilch,
You said:

Who exactly is a Christian, then? How do you know who is a Christian and who is not a Christian? As far as I know, the Nigerian witch hunters were merely following the command "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" to the letter. Whether or not they were paid for it is immaterial, as accepting pay for offing witches is not forbidden in the Old Testament (as far as I know).
Thank you.
I have never ben a part of a place like this. I really needed a voice last night after reading that article.

Who is a Christian and who is not. A very good question with regard to these atrocities.

I appreciate your support of my comments and Lee, I have looked at your link. Wow! I will spend some time there when I get a chance. Nice array of information

Lee Randolph said...

Hi amy,
some of them (on my blog) are placeholders (stubs) to remind me of what I wanted to talk about and to fill in the blanks later. I guess i'll have to fill in the blanks. dang. Once I got accepted by DC, I started neglecting it. This is more fun!

nice to have you on board. Stick around for a little while.

Jason said...

Lee said: Those preachers and those people are following the bible, so they like what is says right?

No, they’re not following the Bible. The Bible doesn’t instruct anyone to take money in exchange for ‘healing', under the new law no one is instructed to kill witches', and who exactly is defining a witch as someone who causes "divorce, disease, accidents or job losses" - it's certainly not the Bible.

They are doing what it says right?

Wrong.

The problem whether you admit it or not is clarity. You perceive the bible one way, the catholics another, the Baptists another, the christadelphians another, and so on and so on.

It’s not about clarity ☺ Is Lucifer Satan or the king of Babylon? Did Adam & Eve eat an apple or a fruit? Is Revelation a book of prophecy or a description of historical events? These questions are clearly answered in the Bible yet Christians, etc. continually choose to ignore the descriptions and explanations and make up their own. So no, it’s not about clarity – it’s about ignorance.

amy rosebush said...

Jason,

Look at that story. Lee is right. Convince those people they are wrong about their religious beliefs? They won't listen.

Why would they? Do you?

.........................?

MY POINT HERE is that when people commit to believing something in their minds they become insane. They cannot be rational.Gotta believe it, gotta believe it, gotta believe it.

I'll bet it's not a nice environment in Nigeria if you don't believe that witch story.

Just like you, standing on the edge of a cliff with your blindfold on....JUMP! HAVE FAITH! GOD WILL SAVE YOU!

Not for me. I know what gravity is. Science has already explained that to me.

You may jump. That preacher pointing at innocent children can jump. I am staying behind to teach the children to think with what is in front of them. Look around.Discover what your brilliant and complex human brain is capable of discovering.

Who wrote the Bible? Man.

I can't believe you are talking about ignorance, Jason.

I'm not sure I should stick around here. I don't know if I have the "keep it cool and keep your hat on that's necessary" to maintain a good standing here.

The Bible is like a game of telephone that started so many years BC by people who were nothing like what we are today.

WHY are we still talking about it in 2007? I am astounded by this.

Some tribal member who heard the story of Osiris passed it on and on ad on it went. Osiris, Mithras, Names changing, stories remodeling themselves. Here we are in 2007 talking about miracles and talking donkeys, moral obligatory murder, the joy of rape and pillaging....It's just ridiculous.

Go Hercules. I have to go read the rules for posting here and decide if I have the temperament.

Traditional ignorance. That is Christianity. It's about control. Mind control. Psychological disorder and immorality.

Any person has a right to believe whatever they want to believe, but they do not have a right to govern according to that belief. They do not have a right to harm anyone or to shun anyone. It doesn't matter what the Bible says about payment for healing witches at all, does it?

I don't know a single Christian who stones their children when they don't listen. That's in the Bible.

Oh, it's so convenient. Jesus took the old laws away, we don't have to follow them.

Why are they still there? Why do you use the OLD testament at all? God says in the Old Testament that NO ONE WILL COME AFTER HIM> and then Jesus comes. Interesting.

The rules of tithing are mentioned in the Old Testament. Do you do that?

You know the human brain becomes addicted to emotions. It creates peptide chains for each one and sends that flying around through your blood stream. Your cells create more receptors for those chemicals.I wonder if people are addicted to Christianity. I would guess yes.

It's possible that what all these lovely people are trying to do here is debunk and obsessive addiction. That's a tough nut to crack.

Jason said...

Zilch said: Now, it seems to me that you are saying here that God didn't make the commandment that John suggested because it would be disobeyed anyway. Is this what you meant?

No, sorry ☺

If so, my question stands: why does God make any commandments at all? Why did He command the Israelites to kill witches? If this is not what you meant, then please explain what you did mean.

The old law was given to the Israelites and the Israelites alone. With Christ, the old law was done away with and the new law took its place. Under the new law, there is no commandment to kill witches. There’s also no commandment to offer animal sacrifices, be circumcised, keep the feast of tabernacles, etc. Therefore, there’s no justification whatsoever for a Christian to kill witches. If he does however, this is a decision made by the individual, not one supported by God or based on the new law.

About the new law replacing the old: Lee said it. As you know, there is widespread disagreement among Christians about this.

No there’s not. I’m aware of no mainstream Christian religion that 1. Offers animal sacrifices as a means to forgive sins, 2. Claims to have priests from the tribe of Levi, 3. Requires mandatory circumcision, 4. Kills anyone who breaks the Sabbath, etc. etc. etc. The old isn’t there to pick and choose. One either follows the entire old law or none of it. This is the meaning of the message in Gal 5:3 “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” In other words, if a person is circumcised because the old law required it, they’re indebted to do the whole law.

Gal 3:24-25 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Do you believe that all the laws of the Old Testament are rescinded? If not, how do you know, on what authority do you decide, which ones to keep and which ones to chuck?

Christ is the author of the new law so the Gospels are a good place as any to start.

Who exactly is a Christian, then? How do you know who is a Christian and who is not a Christian?

Er, someone who follows Christ and adheres to his teachings.

As far as I know, the Nigerian witch hunters were merely following the command "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" to the letter.

And incorrectly so.

Gal 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Whether or not they were paid for it is immaterial, as accepting pay for offing witches is not forbidden in the Old Testament (as far as I know).

Argumentative. God commanded the Israelites to kill witches, none of His commandments ever hinged on whether enough funs were available to pay off the executioner...

Jason said...

Hi Amy,

I don't know a single Christian who stones their children when they don't listen. That's in the Bible.

It sure is. But the law was given to the Israelites.

Oh, it's so convenient. Jesus took the old laws away, we don't have to follow them.

That's right.

Why are they still there? Why do you use the OLD testament at all?

To understand God's plan and purpose, to read about acts of faith and courage from people like Deborah and Moses and Noah, to read about the history of the Jews.

God says in the Old Testament that NO ONE WILL COME AFTER HIM and then Jesus comes. Interesting.

What's interesting about it...?

The rules of tithing are mentioned in the Old Testament. Do you do that?

No. The rules of tithing are in the old testament.

amy rosebush said...

The old law was given to the Israelites and the Israelites alone. With Christ, the old law was done away with and the new law took its place.

MATTHEW 5:17 Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.

He has "come not to send peace, but a sword."

This was said:
Under the new law, there is no commandment to kill witches. There’s also no commandment to offer animal sacrifices,

Amy Says:
YEAH, the sacrifice thing was moved up from an animal to Jesus. God's example of parenting. That was not a step back. I would call that an escalation.

This was said:
Therefore, there’s no justification whatsoever for a Christian to kill witches.
Amy says:
There is enough murder and killing and blood in the new testament to get anyone in a killing mood. There are too many verses to list unless you REALLY want a list.

If he does however, this is a decision made by the individual, not one supported by God or based on the new law.


There is no such thing as witches. There never was. They thought people who knew herbal remedies were witches, they thought people who had seizures were witches....and on and on.

THEY THOUGHT! THEY COMMUNICATED. It's a book. You live by it.
Wow.

amy rosebush said...

To understand God's plan and purpose, to read about acts of faith and courage from people like Deborah and Moses and Noah, to read about the history of the Jews.

The Old Testament tells of Gods plan and purpose, eh? OK. Well, I was lost at the beginning of Genesis when it is obvious that there are two creation stories and not one of them coincides with known science.

I will get back to my other impressions and understandings of gods plan in te old testament this evening as I am now being called upon.

I don't personally care who the law was given to. I am sure someone here will be able to address your comment of "the law was given to the Israelites." What should I say? Oh! Well then, that's Ok. When is it OK to kill your children or to rape someone or to murder them in mass? Never. Never never.

Ok, well then, if god only said the Isrealite children should die, then I'm down with that.

Yeah, I can see how that would be a loving god.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
you are getting bogged down in the details of how these people aren't following gods law. I'll stipulate that this witch thing is not in the new testament, christians are not bound by the law.

I could go into my circumcision as an infant and ask you if I was bound under the law when I was christian but its not relevant, however tempting that is.

So now you and I can move past the OT law and we both agree they are wrong and are following an incorrect interpretation.
The point is, how do these people know the difference? Who can they turn to that is authoritative enough to bring them to their senses? Or the rest of christianity that, for a light example, tithes in church?

There is no difinitive standard that is clear enough to avoid this. They are all getting this from the Bible. To dismiss it as they don't want to understand, or that they don't believe enough, or are being misled still comes back to "How does it get fixed"?

I say that only God can fix it with something other than the Bible. Something else is needed. He could do it with the Holy Spirit. He could do it by not "cut and running" and going to heaven when the going got tough. I'd like to see a university run by Jesus that was 2000 years old. It could've happened. It would have done a lot of good.

Something else to consider is the correlation to secular law, law enforcement and where these mainstream churches are. Could we say they don't permit witch persecution because it is against secular law? That if they were independent of secular law this thing might occur more frequently? I think I could make a good case for that.

zilch said...

Jason, now I'm really confused. I said:

About the new law replacing the old: Lee said it. As you know, there is widespread disagreement among Christians about this.

...to which you replied:

No there’s not. I’m aware of no mainstream Christian religion that 1. Offers animal sacrifices as a means to forgive sins, 2. Claims to have priests from the tribe of Levi, 3. Requires mandatory circumcision, 4. Kills anyone who breaks the Sabbath, etc. etc. etc. The old isn’t there to pick and choose. One either follows the entire old law or none of it.

Tell me please, Jason: is the Decalogue part of the "old law"? If not, tell me why not? If so, then you obviously don't consider Catholics to be a "mainstream Christian religion", because they recognize the Decalogue:

Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. The catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

And what about all the Protestant churches in America that also recognize the Ten Commandments? Why did Judge Moore put them up in his courthouse?

I know that some Christians differentiate between laws in the Old Testament that must be followed, and those that need not be. But I don't see any Scriptural support for such picking and choosing. Or do you?

Insanezenmistress said...

Jason,


I spent last night reading the christian rationalization section over at the Agnostic Reveiw, i think i found the link in DC's listing of informative or debunking sites.

Those postings deal extensivly with the topic of wether or not the old eternal and perfect law of god was done away with by Christ.

Seeing as how Christ himself said that the law was to remain untill he came, and it was PAUL who reversesd that verdict, the argument still rages.


Paul is the one who taught that Gods law is a curse. And it would be alot easier for you to do the research provided at Agnostic Reveiw than for me to copy and paste all the contradictory verses here.

I believe that is the Point Mr. Lee was eluding toward when he said that the church's practice is not settled on the law vs grace.

Seems to me that the only "evidence" of who is a true or false christian is wether or not they where a good, honest and decent person BEFORE they accepted the Relgion. And clearly these preachers in Nigeria are not teaching their congregants to even LOOK in the bible for spiritaul growth. IN that Jason we can agree they are not fellow "christians" as you would respect.

But in practice, these people dont know they are not christians, they are trusting their spiritaul leaders, but what gets my goat...

Is how that as HUMAN BEINGS, they are brain numbed, unable to Be morally revolted as they watch themselves slaughter their children. Because the Preacher they trust has told them JESUS will cure them of what ever evil they think is going on.

THAT speaks of the cruel nature of fear tactics in christianity, taken to their extreem. It is a purely natural occurance, evil people teach the lessons they want, and good people teach the lessons they want, the bible clearly does not distuinguish between the twain, it supports both parties.

And if you say that the bible does not support the evil people, then you have a contradiction, such as evil actions are only ok if GOD commands them.

And when god did command them (ie kill witches) it is our fault that we forgot that God repented of that law when he told Paul,it was alright he didn't mean for us to always kill witches, so now witch burners are evil and unsupported.

Jason said...

Amy said: MATTHEW 5:17 Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.

It’s commonly understood that the old law was done away with at Christ’s death. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood…” (Luke 22:20)

There is enough murder and killing and blood in the new testament to get anyone in a killing mood. There are too many verses to list unless you REALLY want a list.

Off topic and argumentative. The new law doesn’t command Christians to kill, whether witches or other. The commandment instead is to preach.

There is no such thing as witches. There never was. They thought people who knew herbal remedies were witches, they thought people who had seizures were witches....and on and on.

Agreed. Yet for some reason the definition of ‘witches’ being assumed here is the same one given during the Salem witch trials, et al. I’m not sure why this is the case though because this definition isn’t even alluded to in the OT.

The Old Testament tells of Gods plan and purpose, eh? OK. Well, I was lost at the beginning of Genesis when it is obvious that there are two creation stories and not one of them coincides with known science.

There’s only one creation account. One’s told from a macro view (God created the heavens and the earth) and one’s told from Adam’s point of view (Tree of life, etc.).

Ok, well then, if god only said the Isrealite children should die, then I'm down with that.

Read Deut 21:21. ‘Child’ or ‘son’?

Jason said...

Hi Lee,

So now you and I can move past the OT law and we both agree they are wrong and are following an incorrect interpretation.

Sure thing.

The point is, how do these people know the difference? Who can they turn to that is authoritative enough to bring them to their senses? Or the rest of christianity that, for a light example, tithes in church?

Precisely. ☺

There is no difinitive standard that is clear enough to avoid this. They are all getting this from the Bible.

Sorry but I strongly disagree. They’re getting fed this stuff from their ‘church leaders’ who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16) It’s been this way for the past 2000 years. Look at purgatory, Lucifer etc. These concepts aren’t found in the Bible but they’re being taught regardless. Throw in the church’s ‘the Bible is too difficult for simple folk to understand’ mentality and it’s a recipe for disaster.

To dismiss it as they don't want to understand, or that they don't believe enough, or are being misled still comes back to "How does it get fixed"?

Absolutely.

I say that only God can fix it with something other than the Bible. Something else is needed.

Again, I disagree. There’s no reason for Christianity to ignore 2 Tim 3:16. If all of Christianity believed nothing more then Scripture was required to be ‘perfect’ and that they could learn these things for themselves, things would be far better. No limbo, no Mariolatry, no immortal soul, no pope, etc. etc.

I'd like to see a university run by Jesus that was 2000 years old. It could've happened. It would have done a lot of good.



Something else to consider is the correlation to secular law, law enforcement and where these mainstream churches are. Could we say they don't permit witch persecution because it is against secular law? That if they were independent of secular law this thing might occur more frequently? I think I could make a good case for that.

Possibly. But Christians still aren’t under the old law and we’re back to square one. There’s no justification whatsoever for Christians to follow the ‘kill witches’ commandment.

Jason said...

zilch said: Tell me please, Jason: is the Decalogue part of the "old law"?

The Ten Commandments were given to Moses in Exodus 34. This naturally makes them part of the old law.

If not, tell me why not? If so, then you obviously don't consider Catholics to be a "mainstream Christian religion", because they recognize the Decalogue.

Christ repeated, and added onto, 9 of the 10 commandments during his ministry. Since he’s the author of the new law, these laws are considered to be part of the new law.

I know that some Christians differentiate between laws in the Old Testament that must be followed, and those that need not be. But I don't see any Scriptural support for such picking and choosing. Or do you?

Absolutely not.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
There has been a lot said about the old law versus the new law which I believe is not as relevant to the discussion as how do these people get out of this fraud.

Sorry but I strongly disagree. They’re getting fed this stuff from their ‘church leaders’ who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16) It’s been this way for the past 2000 years. Look at purgatory, Lucifer etc. These concepts aren’t found in the Bible but they’re being taught regardless. Throw in the church’s ‘the Bible is too difficult for simple folk to understand’ mentality and it’s a recipe for disaster.
right. But how do they get out of the fraud? Where are the church leaders? Are we sure they will take confidence in strangers bringing a different message? They can read the bible and figure it out for themselves, but what about those that can't read? Or those that don't have the reading comprehension capability that you or I have? Or the hierarchy of authority, preacher, elders, adults, teenagers, to children. Once it becomes part of the culture its going to be hard to shake without some external force like secular law enforcement for example.

Would you agree that people that can't read through the ages were discriminated against because they could'nt read the word for themselves or had access to the word for themselves? There was period of over a thousand years when the only scriptures were hand written. There was nothing else but church leaders. Do you say that God had no responsibility to "even the playing field" for those that were disadvantaged and risked disobeying him and establishing a culture of horror justified on the greed of the church leaders?

Insanezenmistress said...

Lee

Excellent thought. It had not occured to me that the Nigerians may not have 'education' such as i have taken for granted.

Neither have i thought much about the by gone ages in quite the light you precented. Having somehow blindly assumned people had bibles to read. Or at the best good human consciensess to guide them.

Jason said...

Lee,

But how do they get out of the fraud? Where are the church leaders?

The church leaders are there but they’re the ones maintaining the fraud.

Are we sure they will take confidence in strangers bringing a different message?

This is an impossible question. No one can be sure until someone tries.

They can read the bible and figure it out for themselves, but what about those that can't read? Or those that don't have the reading comprehension capability that you or I have? Or the hierarchy of authority, preacher, elders, adults, teenagers, to children. Once it becomes part of the culture its going to be hard to shake without some external force like secular law enforcement for example.

It seems like you’re suggesting these people are a lost cause...?

Would you agree that people that can't read through the ages were discriminated against because they couldn’t read the word for themselves or had access to the word for themselves?

Most definitely.

Do you say that God had no responsibility to "even the playing field" for those that were disadvantaged and risked disobeying him and establishing a culture of horror justified on the greed of the church leader.

The blind man in John 8 and 9 was ‘disadvantaged’ yet he gave his ‘church leaders’, the Pharisees, a great run for their money. Even by simply hearing Scripture, a solid knowledge of Christ and God can be attained. I would argue that being disadvantaged isn’t an excuse to having learnt and accepted false doctrines. There are countless people in Scripture, and history, who were blind or mute or deaf or crippled that still believed in God and Christ.

amy rosebush said...

Jason,
You gave a verse stating that the NEW COVENANT did away with the old law, but you didn't say anything about the fact of Matthew 5:17 where Jesus approves of the old law. Would you care to address that?Never mind, I won't be back to hear it.

When I mentioned that there was murder and blood in the Bible to motivate one to kill, I was trying to explain with a blanket statement that anyone looking in the book might come out with a few murderous ideas: hense, the witch killings. It was not off topic.

Ok, you have a reason for two accounts of Genesis. Still, neither of them go along with known science.

I have no idea what you mean by micro and macro views. That would take some 'splainin'

Jason,
you say:
Read Deut 21:21. ‘Child’ or ‘son’?

What do you mean, sir? I looked it up. It's an example of taking your son (who is your child) to the elders and then stoning him in front of everyone? Why should it matter if it is a child, a son or a girl? In my life, an animal for that matter? I have the conscience not to kill at all but for the occassional accidental ant or spider. Why should a god be describing these things? To me, it seems very likely that the death of Jesus was just an extension of the peoples love of a murderous story.

Any talk of murder or killing or mistreatment of children with regard to the Bible can go on for days and is not off topic.

I visited this site because I needed a voice after reading that terrible story.

I shouldn't have engaged in conversation , I don't have that kind of time. I am afraid I will not be able to save anyone around you from your religion. All I can do is raise my kids to have respect for human and animal rights, the environment and people who are different. I will teach them to tolerate people of every religion and to think for themselves.

I leave you guys to your conversations. I don't have the time one must commit to following through.

I thank you all very much for your work here. I appreciate your other site, Lee. It's very well done.

I must go before I get myself kicked out. I am surrounded by Christianity every day. I see no reason to torture myself further.

Take care everyone. May you all find peace and wonder in the physical world around you.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi jason,
those countless that you mention, we only know about them from scripture, which we can assume is a little biased. No problem though.
Lets look at the result. Those people splintered into many pieces. The integrity of christianity and the word was lost. Look at your own belief about the trinity. That debate has raged since close to the beginning.

so now, sure they were convinced but what they did with it afterwards is to mis-interpret it. Not from my perspective but from your perspective and every other christians perspective. You are all "one off" from each other.

Now lets look at the numbers. Its been almost 2000 years since the crucifixion and christianity's numbers are only 30 percent with Islam catching up if not overtaking. These are terrible numbers for a project that has lasted this long initiated by a perfect being. And we have an example in this article of why that is and how it persists. Witch hunting is not going to go away until secular law forbids it or god revises his project.

The fact that these people believe they are right, and use the bible to justify it, and the fact that there seems to be no way for them to get out of the fraud on their own since it has persisted for so long suggests the idea that they would be have been better off not knowing about christianity. Since this is the case then God cancels himself out.

God gave his son, so that none should perish but have eternal life. Thats a big investment is it not? Yet he knew it before he initiated it, that his numbers would stay low and situations like witch hunts would persist into the 21st (but hopefully no longer) century. 70% of the people in the world are unacceptable to god. That is a terrible return on investment.

zilch said...

amy- thank you for sharing your feelings here. I hear you- stories like this make me crazy too.

We have two kids, now seventeen and nineteen, and we tried to raise them to be tolerant of other people. They have made us proud of them. They are both atheists or agnostics and love the world. They are also both pains in the butt occasionally, but that's part of growing up.

Best of luck to you and yours. Cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Jason said...

Hi Lee,

The fact that these people believe they are right, and use the bible to justify it, and the fact that there seems to be no way for them to get out of the fraud on their own since it has persisted for so long suggests the idea that they would be have been better off not knowing about christianity. Since this is the case then God cancels himself out.

How? God can, and does exist, irrespective of the state of His followers.

God gave his son, so that none should perish but have eternal life. That’s a big investment is it not?

I don’t see how an all-powerful God can ‘invest’ in His own creation since God knows the beginning from the end. God ‘gave’ the world His only begotten son knowing perfectly well how many people would accept him, how people would reject him, and how many people wouldn’t care either way.

Yet he knew it before he initiated it, that his numbers would stay low and situations like witch hunts would persist into the 21st (but hopefully no longer) century.

Agreed.

70% of the people in the world are unacceptable to god. That is a terrible return on investment.

This is incompatible language for an omniscient God. He’s already made it perfectly clear that “many will be called, but few chosen” and “…strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” It’s not an investment because God doesn’t lose anything whether 100 people are accepted or a billion. The end result still is that man is in control of his own salvation.

My point in all of this is that neither God, nor the Bible commands Christians to kill witches and posts such as this one about witch hunts do nothing except misrepresent Scripture. The failure is man's, not God's.

Shygetz said...

Jason, Peter disagreed strongly with you regarding the old law (e.g. Gal 2). Paul disagreed with Peter. Because of the strength of the Gentile population within the Roman church, Paul's argument won out in scripture. But if you think that Jesus' wishes were so clear regarding the law, you must have a terribly low opinion of Peter, who actually walked with Jesus and helped him with His ministry and STILL got it wrong. Being the Rock of Christ's Church ain't all it's cracked up to be, I guess. Fortunately, you are much wiser than Peter to see the issue so clearly, especially given the handicap that you only get to read what the Pauline Gentile tradition canonized.

Matthew 5:18--Heaven and Earth have not passed, Christ has not returned in power, all has not been fulfilled. Therefore, not one jot nor tittle has passed from the law. Matthew 5:19--whoever breaks any of God's commandments or teaches others to do so shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. Even if you claim that one not need be a Jew to follow Christ (and there is scriptural evidence that Jesus addressed both to Jew and Gentile in His Sermon on the Mount exhorting them to keep the OT Law; Matthew 8 shows that a centurion knew of His fame and believed in Him directly after the Sermon, and multitudes from the Roman Decapolis were said to have been at the Sermon at least some of which were almost certainly Gentile given that the majority of residents were Gentile), are you sure that in your spouting that the Old Law has passed you have never taught a Jewish Christian not to follow it? If so, you will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, not according to Paul (a man who never met Jesus during His ministry) but according to Jesus Himself. Clear as day!

At least it's nice to see that it's not only modern humans you assume yourself superior to. Even Peter himself cannot hold a theological candle to you.

Freewill reigns supreme.

Re-read Exodus, esp. Chapters 4, 7, 9-11, and 14. Did God harden Pharaoh's heart to so that He might multiply His signs and wonders? Where was Pharaoh's freewill that reigned supreme? Cast aside at God's whim, that's where. 2 Thess 2:11 also counters your claim of supreme freewill:

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie"

God shall lie to them, so that they may be damned for eternity (2 Thess 2:12). Where is their freewill to believe? Trampled under God's strong lie, that's where.

You count yourself among the blessed, because God elected you for the truth (2 Thess 2:13-14). But how can you be sure? Maybe God sent YOU a strong delusion that you might have pleasure in unrighteousness. You certainly don't seem particularly righteous on these comment threads...

Others: Jason has stated previously that he doesn't believe God is omnibenevolent. Saying God shouldn't do something because it would make Him an Asshole is a non sequiter in arguing against him. To paraphrase the old joke, we have already established what God is, now we are just haggling on the price.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Shygetz,
Nice comment.

Hi Jason,
I say god cancels himself out because we find him in a contradiction. It is claimed about him that he so loved us that he gave his son so that none shall perish, yet he leaves those people with no way out of that fraud. He wastes the crucifixion and the lives of those people and more importantly, the children are needlessly injured and traumatized. The claim about the holy spirit discerning, giving guidance and convicting in the spirit are demonstrated to be false. You can claim that god is not benevolent (which I think you are in the minority), but I don't think a claim that god is wasteful or inefficient is something that can be supported by scripture or that any christian would tolerate. To put both those claims together would seriously undermine scriptural claims about God. But it would be consistant with the Devil.

You keep saying this is mans failure, and I'll give you the failure of the preachers, but not the failure of the people. They are stuck. To suggest that those people should somehow get themselves out of this is like saying that a non-swimmer is at fault for drowning when enticed into the ocean in good faith.

Jason said...

Shy said: Jason, Peter disagreed strongly with you regarding the old law (e.g. Gal 2). Paul disagreed with Peter.

Shy, this is an old argument and one we’ve had many times before. Please be honest with the text - Galatians 2 doesn’t say Peter disagreed with the validity of the new law. What it does say is that Peter feared the legalistic Jews so he stopped hanging out with the Gentiles. In fact, Peter recognized it’s Christ’s sacrifice that redeems the righteous, an impossibility under the old law. He also states baptism is vital to salvation, also an impossibility (and a foreign concept) under the old law.

But if you think that Jesus' wishes were so clear regarding the law, you must have a terribly low opinion of Peter, who actually walked with Jesus and helped him with His ministry and STILL got it wrong. Being the Rock of Christ's Church ain't all it's cracked up to be, I guess. Fortunately, you are much wiser than Peter to see the issue so clearly, especially given the handicap that you only get to read what the Pauline Gentile tradition canonized.

Tiresome and argumentative. Peter didn’t get it wrong any more then Paul, John or Christ did.

Matthew 5:18--Heaven and Earth have not passed, Christ has not returned in power, all has not been fulfilled. Therefore, not one jot nor tittle has passed from the law.

We’ve been over this before as well. Here’s a layman’s translation of Matthew 5:18 “I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved.” (NLT)

If so, you will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, not according to Paul (a man who never met Jesus during His ministry) but according to Jesus Himself. Clear as day!

Tiresome. Paul, John, Peter, etc. were all inspired by God to write what they wrote. Your “he never met Jesus” argument doesn’t hold water.

At least it's nice to see that it's not only modern humans you assume yourself superior to. Even Peter himself cannot hold a theological candle to you.

Where did I say I’m superior to modern humans? My views on the old law and new law are hardly new so I’m not sure what’s gotten you so upset.

Re-read Exodus, esp. Chapters 4, 7, 9-11, and 14. Did God harden Pharaoh's heart to so that He might multiply His signs and wonders? Where was Pharaoh's freewill that reigned supreme? Cast aside at God's whim, that's where.

At God’s whim. That’s correct, as Romans 9:17 clearly shows.

2 Thess 2:11 also counters your claim of supreme freewill: "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie"

That’s right - God uses those He uses for whatever purpose He desired. However, where God doesn’t use someone to “declare His name throughout all the earth”, freewill rests entirely with the individual. Deut 30:19, Joshua 24:15, 1 Kings 18:21, Psa 119:30, 173, Prov 1:29, etc.

Others: Jason has stated previously that he doesn't believe God is omnibenevolent. Saying God shouldn't do something because it would make Him an Asshole is a non sequiter in arguing against him. To paraphrase the old joke, we have already established what God is, now we are just haggling on the price.

Disrespectful and harassing. I’d appreciate it if you stopped.

Jason said...

Lee,

I say god cancels himself out because we find him in a contradiction. It is claimed about him that he so loved us that he gave his son so that none shall perish, yet he leaves those people with no way out of that fraud.

The “way out” is to show them that what they believe is a fraud.

He wastes the crucifixion and the lives of those people and more importantly, the children are needlessly injured and traumatized.

Why did God waste the crucifixion?

The claim about the holy spirit discerning, giving guidance and convicting in the spirit are demonstrated to be false.

Why?

You can claim that god is not benevolent (which I think you are in the minority), but I don't think a claim that god is wasteful or inefficient is something that can be supported by scripture or that any christian would tolerate.

I’ve never said God isn’t benevolent - To be honest, I'm getting a bit frustrated and confused at why I’m being misquoted so often. If I’ve claimed something, please quote me. Who claimed God is wasteful or inefficient…?

To put both those claims together would seriously undermine scriptural claims about God. But it would be consistant with the Devil.

…?

You keep saying this is mans failure, and I'll give you the failure of the preachers, but not the failure of the people. They are stuck. To suggest that those people should somehow get themselves out of this is like saying that a non-swimmer is at fault for drowning when enticed into the ocean in good faith.

How are they stuck? Why are we powerless to do anything? This seems extremely defeatist. The first option is to correct the preachers/teachers , the second option is to correct the people by showing them why their preachers/teachers are wrong, the third option, the one you seem to be siding with, is to give up, admit correction is impossible, and let the people drown on their own. Most Christians would happily either of the first two…

Lee Randolph said...

Hi jason,
You have stated that at least you don't believe in an omni-benevolent god, or a perfectly good god in discussions with me. By the end of this comment I'll try to draw it out of you with the same argument I used before.

The “way out” is to show them that what they believe is a fraud.
Do you think you are the first one to think of this? This has been going on since at least 1998 according to the article, and it has happened periodically in history, and judging by precedent, I'm sure it will happen again. They are not able or as you say, not willing to give up thier sets of beliefs. They are not willing to give them up because they believe they are right and have the evidence to prove it or they are self serving and know this is not part of gods will, but if that were the case, why bother with the religious protocol at all? It would be unnecessary.

Lee: He wastes the crucifixion and the lives of those people and more importantly, the children are needlessly injured and traumatized.

Why did God waste the crucifixion?
Since these people are self professed christians, and God paid the ultimate price to help save people like this, by not, at least, sending the holy spirit to them to convinct them of thier sins, his sacrifice on the cross is impotent or at worst is serving to perpetuate this horror. Basically, it is not serving the purpose for what it was intended. Do you think he crucified himself to have christians act like this? No.

Lee: The claim about the holy spirit discerning, giving guidance and convicting in the spirit are demonstrated to be false.

Jason: Why?
because if god loves us so much that he gave his only son so that none shall perish but have life, and he has set a precedent of sending the holy spirit around to give guidance and discernment, then if there ever was a need for it, it is now.
IF god loves them the way he has demonstrated
and if he has sent the holy spirit around in the past to give guidance and discernment
and if that is what the bible claims it is for,
then since god is all powerful, all knowing and all good, it is incumbent on him to do it now.
You and others may say that god is under no obligation, however, in order not to lie, in order to stay consistent, in order not to deceive, he must act in a way that prevents that. He does it to himself. He has imposed this obligation upon himself in order to maintain his reputation and character and to support his stated goals that not one of us should perish.


I’ve never said God isn’t benevolent - To be honest, I'm getting a bit frustrated and confused at why I’m being misquoted so often. If I’ve claimed something, please quote me. Who claimed God is wasteful or inefficient…?
i didn't say that you claimed god is wasteful or inefficient, but it can be inferred from this example and the example of the little tiny earth and the apparently infinite universe.

To put both those claims together would seriously undermine scriptural claims about God. But it would be consistant with the Devil.
To say that god is not benevolent, or that god is only apparently not benevolent in this case, and to say that he does nothing about this because it serves the greater good, is to say that god is wasting these people who think they are following him and permitting them to drive nails in childrens heads to serve the greater good. Does it seem likely to you that driving nails in childrens heads serve the greater good? I don't think so because it is a public relations nightmare for christianity and it serves to help dissuade people from god, and gives people like us something to try to write persuasive articles about.
This is completely in character for the devil, the deciever. But if it really is the devil, then it is even less likely that humans are going to talk them out of it, and more likely that only god can get them out of it. In any case,
In my mind, to say that this serves a greater good is blasphemy. But since god permits it, it must be for the greater good right? Thats the viewpoint of the christian toward the Problem of Evil and or Suffering right?


How are they stuck? Why are we powerless to do anything? This seems extremely defeatist. The first option is to correct the preachers/teachers , the second option is to correct the people by showing them why their preachers/teachers are wrong, the third option, the one you seem to be siding with, is to give up, admit correction is impossible, and let the people drown on their own. Most Christians would happily either of the first two…
the article says "He estimates around 5,000 children have been abandoned in this area since 1998 and says many bodies have turned up in the rivers or in the forest.
Jason, after almost ten years, Its time to change the strategy. I guarantee you are not the first to think of this, which means that those attempts are being resisted, probably exactly because christianity insulates itself from criticism by accepting weak evidence to support itself, and unless you can come up with better evidence than the bible, something that resists other interpretation, then there is no hope except from the secular world. Only the secular world will go in there and restrict thier freedom, but not thier minds. Only god can free their minds, and he has not done it so far.
the holy spirit is not doing its job.

I repeat, To suggest that those people should somehow get themselves out of this is like saying that a non-swimmer is at fault for drowning when enticed into the ocean in good faith.

Now to draw that claim out of you.
If god is omni-benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient, then the fact that there is so much needless suffering in the world demonstrates that those claims are not true and that god is either not like that, does not care, or does not exist.

Lee Randolph said...

I have to say, that I need to break off my participation to finish an article that I'm working on. I've made my case and am now only repeating it in different ways.

Happy holidays everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason said...

We made some strides here. That's good. We've agreed it's the fault of the Nigerian church leaders for these witch hunts and not the Bible. Baby steps...