Religious Mental Instability and the Will of God


Please God, Help Me!
One of the things I’ve noticed after 30 years as a Christian and a minister is the number of mentally ill people who desperately depend on the Biblical promises and myths to give their life meaning. When my high school psychology class visited the state metal hospital, I remember seeing many of the patients with Bibles and one patient grabbing hold of my arm and telling how wonderful Jesus had been to him. Before I graduated, I knew a boy name Rusty J. who, as a Baptist, would have wide mood swings from one month, trying to save every student in the school, to the next month cussing like a drunken sailor and picking fights.

Mentally instable people who are charismatic cult leaders have caused true believers to murder as well as commit mass suicide. A example of the former was the 1969 murders of 7 people in by the Charles Manson “family” based on his reading of the book of Revelation mixed with the Beatle’s song Helter Skelter to create a theology Manson construed to being the end times with an apocalyptic race war that the murders were intended to precipitate leaving Manson and his “family” to lead the new world order.

But the Bibles has given the mentally ill illusions of messianic grandeur, be it Jim Jones founder of the Peoples Temple who (full of drugs and Biblical ideals) lead 913 people including 276 child into his view of Heaven where all the believers would be waiting after everyone left this evil world with strychnine laced Kool-Aid.

Then there is the mental messianic figure of David Koresh whose 1993 understanding of Daniel and Revelation drawn from his theology rooted in Branch Davidian Biblical hermeneutics convinced 76 people (17 of which were held under the age of 12) were either forced to stay (the children) or stayed freely in a Biblical apocalyptic and prophetic end to history in Waco, Texas.

In 1997 a San Diego, Calf. Heaven's Gate Cult lead by Marshall Applewhite got ready to ride to Heaven in a space ship coming to get them behind the Comet Hale-Boop since, Applewood claimed that it was the “Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled”. They purified themselves in the food they ate and six male members had even castrated themselves (Matt. 19: 12). Wikipedia states: “In preparing to kill themselves, members of the group drank citrus juices to ritually cleanse their bodies of impurities. The suicide was accomplished by ingestion of Phenobarbital mixed with vodka, along with plastic bags secured around their heads to induce asphyxiation. They were found lying neatly in their own bunk beds, with their faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried five dollars in quarters in their pockets. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes, and armband patches reading "Heaven's Gate Away Team." The suicides were conducted in shifts, and the remaining members of the group cleaned up after each prior group's death.”

While group suicide cults have often held the news headlines, personal religious mental illness has left its mark too. Such was the case of a 1982 high school valedictorian Andrea Yates, who, in June 2001 killed all five of her children by drowning the in a bathtub explained her “Christian action” to her jail psychiatrist, "It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them, they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell."(Wikipedia)

Just to night on the new here in South Carolina, a Florence 18 year old high school youth “Schallenberger was arrested April 19. Authorities say he bought materials to make several bombs and had written a journal detailing his plans to attack Chesterfield High School. The teen faces several state and federal charges, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. That charge carries a possible life sentence if he is convicted.” (The Greenville News). When asked why he was planning to kill his classmates, he said so he could go to Heaven, stand before Jesus at the judgment at which time he would kill Jesus also.

While the Bible can inspired everything form Holy Rollers to Mountain Snakes Handlers to Faith Healers to Satan Worshipers, it has a very profound affect on the mentally unstable. It is at just such a juncture that the freedom to worship as one’s conscience dictates can mean the difference between life and death, not only for the cults true believer, but for innocence adults and children as well.





44 comments:

mikespeir said...

Of course, you'll be accused of straw-man reasoning because you've picked the worst examples of religiosity.

Regardless, it's clear enough that religion doesn't prevent this kind of thing. No matter how Christians spin it, their religion doesn't always "work" the way they claim--even in those cases where they insist it should work best. And that pretty much lets the air out of the tires of supernatural efficacy.

goprairie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

You're stating that mentally unstable people who are charismatic cult leaders have caused true believers (however you're defining a 'true believer') to murder as well as commit mass suicide. History is filled with these kinds of people. Sad but true.

Shygetz said...

I think there is validity to picking the worst examples of religiosity when you are attacking the basic idea that faith is a virtue. Numerous anecdotes such as these make it abundantly clear that faith in the Bible is not a virtue in and of itself; it is perfectly capable of inspiring acts of selfless compassion and acts of brutal cruelty. I think this is perhaps the most important part of the battle against religious zealotry (and let's face it--if religion were relegated to mere social hobby status, few of us would be wasting our time arguing about it here--it's the zealotry bred by unjustifiable certainty that causes real problems). Once we have convinced society that faith is not automatically a positive, we can start to examine religion on a more level playing field and examine what criteria theists use to pick the good faith from the bad faith.

Harry McCall said...

Mikespeir: “Of course, you'll be accused of straw-man reasoning because you've picked the worst examples of religiosity.” and shygetz likewise.

I must say that while these had the most news coverage and, with the exception of Jonestown and Jim Jones, the religious acts of “9/11” had to be the worst act of religion mental instability in the United States to date (While it can be agued these Moslems were very sane, that’s a judgment call). As we move back 500 years to what is now Mexico City, the massive killings to the sun god by ripping human still beating hearts out by the Aztecs exceeds any of my Christian examples and I doubt seriously if the Aztec prists were mentally off any more than those in my examples.

I can state, based on this, that Christianity is only as stable as its leaders are to the masses and not some set dogmas. As such, had Billy Graham had a mental break down and started claiming that Jesus wants to meet all living believers in Heaven next week and that to get there Christians must commit suicide or that Catholic priests are demonic and must die, there would be many, many suicides or killings by which Grahams’ followers prove faith. Likewise, should the Pope spin out of control mentally and not be stop by the “checks and balances” of the Cardinals, much death in the name of Jesus could occur.

Except for a few examples, maybe we should see people like Charles Manson and his “family” sane just as the law did. And, as I rethink things, just maybe all my examples were NOT insane acts of people, but simply zealous true believers! I think this would hold true for most all the suicides at Jonestown.

Funny things is, acts of religious insanity is only applied by outsiders as we are often repulsed by their seemly acts of madness. Regardless, to the true believer, they are still acts of extreme piety.

Harry McCall said...

We should keep in mind that my post is on "Religious Mental Instability" and not menatl insanity.

As such, Andea Yates was as pious as Abramham was offfering Isaac. The only difference being, God did not send an angel to stop it so God must have approved of it; that is, if as the Christians claim, God is still on the throne!

Harry McCall said...

A very interesting question that could be posed here is if Jesus knowingly went to Jerusalem at the Passover knowingly to give his life in death, DID JESUS COMMENT SUICDE? Since Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man”; just how stable was Jesus in his decision to comment his own self inflicted act of death via the Romans and that this that this act would conclude in the final stage of history?

Thranil said...

harry, so you're saying that jesus did a "death by cop" suicide? Lol! I never thought of it that way!

Harry McCall said...

I know of no sacrifice (animal or human) that was simply happy to be just that: a dead sacrifice to some god. This whole Jesus thing in the Gospels is loaded with problems.

In other words, Jesus willingly committed suicide for sinners or, as you state, death by cops. Personally, I see no difference between the shedding of Jesus blood on the cross that day and the other two criminals hung on either side.

Jason said...

Harry,

If a soldier goes to war for his country and dies, is he committing suicide? Or if a man throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades, is this suicide?

Christian said...

There is no doubt that some narcissistic men seek professions in which they can have control over other people, and "religion" fits the bill nicely. It is also true that hurting people, including mentally ill people, are looking for something or someone to alleviate their pain and insecurity. The are seeking love and acceptance (just like everybody else), and often find that among Christians, who are more willing to love them just as they are, than society in general. True, born-again Christians do not see the Jonestown tragedy, or any of the other tragedies mentioned, as being an act of peity of true believers - rather they are examples of people who who were following a man , instead of God; or who were demented. They are no more a representation of what is "Christian" than the students who kill their classmates and teachers are representations of what is a "student". There will always be people who are demented and serve their own agendas in any movement whether it be social, political or religious. But to use the actions of these individuals as a basis to judge the whole is simply taking a cheap shot, and carries no validity. The Bible doesn't give the mentally ill illusions of grandeur, the mentally ill who already have illusions of grandeur simply use the Bible and religion for their own means and their own agendas. People are intrigued by the supernatural, be it voodoo, outer space, ghost, psychics, etc. and since it can't be seen or proved - it can't necessarily be disproved either - and consequently attracts charlatans and fakes who see an opportunity to make money, or have power, or "be someone". None of these things have anything to do with real Christianity, which is simply being a believer in and follower of Christ. As far as those who were former minister or former "professing Christians" who are now atheist or whatever; they were never true born-again Christians, and so in time they became disillusioned - they simply had a "form of godliness, but never possessed the power."

George said...

I have long believed that belief in religion, any religion, is a form of delusional psychosis. That said, I recall reading something in the last couple of years that described a heated debate within the American Psychological Association (APA) over whether religious belief should be categorized in DSM-V as "delusional psychosis" NOS. I have been unable to find a reference to that recently. Yet, I do recall reading about it.

Does anyone have a definitive reference to that?

Harry McCall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry McCall said...

Jason: If a soldier goes to war for his country and dies, is he committing suicide?

RE: No, since the odds are he will not be killed.

Jason: Or if a man throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades, is this suicide?

RE. Yes, Catholic theology say that is second degree suicide and he will suffer in purgatory for it as it went against the natural action of the destructiveness of the grenade.

Jason, if Abraham did slay Isaac on the alter, would he have committed murder?

Now for Christian: Is a Mormon a Christian? What about a Jehovah Witness? According to you, exactly what is a Christian? (Remember, Satan believes in Christ).

Jason said...

If a soldier goes to war for his country and dies, is he committing suicide? - RE: No, since the odds are he will not be killed.

So it's an "odds" thing? Therefore, if a father runs into a burning house to try and save his kids and he dies, it must have been suicide because the odds are he wouldn't make it out alive. Harsh.

Or if a man throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades, is this suicide? - RE. Yes, Catholic theology say that is second degree suicide and he will suffer in purgatory for it as it went against the natural action of the destructiveness of the grenade.

Unless you're Catholic, I'm not interested in what they have to say about it. I want to know what you think. The army posthumously awards soldiers for these acts of bravery. Society calls people who sacrifice themselves for others "heroes" and "selfless". There will always be cynics though, and it appears you're one of them.

Jason, if Abraham did slay Isaac on the alter, would he have committed murder?

No.

Harry McCall said...

Suicide is suicide no mater how hard you try and whitewash it. Suicide: The act of taking one’s own life. Also termed self-killing; self-destruction; self-slaughter; self-murder. (Black’s Law Dictionary) While you may call me a cynic, most life insurance policy clearly exempt acts of war. So, try to collect on the policy when a solider knowingly takes his own life to save others.

Jason, just how do you justify tying a victim up (Isaac) and the father (Abraham) cutting his throat for him to bleed to death and not calling the action murder. Do I need to quote Black’s Law Dict. again here? Tell you what, my law dictionary will beat out you Bible and Christadelphian theology any day in a court room; the Fundamental Later Day Saints are finding this out in Texas.

By your reasoning, the thousands of victims whose heart was cut out while still beating and offered to the Sun god of the Aztecs in Mexico did not murder all these people since it was “religious”…sick!

Harry McCall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Harry,

What I'm saying is there are instances, many instances, where giving up your life isn't considered suicide. If allowing yourself to be crucified by a mob bent on your destruction ultimately means the salvation for millions, I say power to you.

Suicide is reserved for the depressed, or shamed, or the pained, or the mentally ill. Christ was none of these. He didn't take his life because he was depressed - he offered it freely to save mankind. Some people, like you, seem to have a problem with this. Most others don't.

Jason, just how do you justify tying a victim up (Isaac) and the father (Abraham) cutting his throat for him to bleed to death and not calling the action murder.

I don't need to justify anything because Abraham didn't kill his son. You're aware Isaac lived....right?

Jason here is a Military Facts...

Fascinating.

Harry McCall said...

Jason here are the Military Facts for those who give their lives in service: If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payment its come to a screeching halt.

So you better double check your insurance policy coverage before you jump on a grenade. No, not everyone values suicide as a worthy cause!

Harry McCall said...

Jason, then Aztec sacrifices were just a small part of the return of blood that humans could give since the Sun God shed his blood to give life to the world. I’m sure if these sacrificial victims only knew Aztec theology, they would have gladly laid on the altar had gave their hearts to God.

My next post (next week) will compare Yahweh to the Aztec god and will show God’s need for human blood and humans as burnt offerings. Since Jesus was not burnt, his sacrifice was not kosher, however the fact the God took this human sacrifice is pare-for- the-course for this Judeo-Christian God.

Christian said...

Jesus said "No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for a friend." Throughout history there have been many instances of people who laid down their life to save others. This is not suicide. Suicide is an act of despondency - it is a selfish act to end one's suffering and pain, with no regard for the pain it will cause others. Suicide is selfish, laying down one's life to save others is selfless - the two are opposite.

Harry, you said God requires human blood - burnt offerings of humans. I was wondering if you could give some examples, other than Christ, where God required human sacrifices. Because the fact is God declared that human sacrifices were evil in His sight and He never commanded such a thing or even thought of such an evil thing.

Harry McCall said...

Christian, you may or may not know that the Hebrew text is much more graphic that the Greek Septuagint (LXX) text which greatly shapes the English text. My next post will look at the book of Joshua, Kings and Numbers to reveal a god often foreign to the Christian ideals. In other word, though translations, Yahweh has been Christianized.

Robert_B said...

Thanks Harry. Your essay points out a serious problem with religion in general but one that especially afflicts Christianity. Since Christian believers seek escape from reality into death with a fantasy of an ideal afterlife, scruple impaired cult and government leaders have a ready made vehicle to exploit the ignorant, foolish, and weak minded. Sadly, Christianity's sanguinary history reveals how dangerous the ancient and pernicious superstition can be.

Mary said...

wow Harry McCall is a bona fide "Fundy-Atheist". Trotting out the old canards like a pro, eh Harry? Here dude... http://www.tektonics.org/lp/packham02.html

Harry McCall said...

Thanks robert b. You also see the problems here.

Mary, tell you what; I’m at work on my next post entitled: A God Driven by Blood and Death: Human Sacrifice and the Slaughter of Christ.

If you think JP Holding has got all the answers, I’m personally challenge you to use anything apologetic Holding has published to defeat my post. And, yes, I did go to the Tektonic website you listed and if this is the best you can do, you are already defeated.

Holdings Tektonic website is great for the Sunday school mind, so lets just see how good you can use Holding to defeat my next post here at DC!

Mary said...

harry harry harry harry,
You're the one with the Sunday School mentality. You're the one who thinks like a 10-year-old soon-to-be-atheist whose (immature, incomplete, noncomprehensive) ideas of God haven't changed since Sunday School. BTW Your hemophobia is showing.

JPH might not have "all" the answers but he has more answers than you do. More correct ones, at that. All as you have is "Argument by Outrage" (which is basically the logical fallacy of "Appeal to Emotion."

You wouldn't know societal context of the Ancient Near East if it came up and bit you. All you have is your overly-dramatic horror at things you don't understand, therefore it "must" be bad. Well dude, WHERE are you getting your pre-packaged self-righteousness? How is your understanding more "correct"?

Bring it on, man. Oh I WILL do that. Mind explaining how I'm already defeated, in specifics? Your dismissals are merely insubstantial handwaving at this point. You have as yet NO solid examples as to why JPH could POSSIBLY be "wrong."

Heh, maybe if you're lucky your next post will be nominated for a screwball award. As it is, I think DJ's goona get himself an Encyclopedia Dramatica done up on him one of these days...

Harry McCall said...

Hello JP “Mary” Holding! Your language and style sounds to me like “Mary” is a She-Male JP Holding.

Since you have no Blogger profile, you are (in all likelihood) Mr. Big Mouth Holding himself: Mentally deficient, but still legally literate…but only slightly!

Hey, Holding want-to-be clone, the last time I took the “Chicken Challenge” you/ he blocked my emails.

PS: How’s things going for the wife at the Fla. prison?

Mary said...

OMFG!!! ROFLMAO!

Good Grief, McCalls-Bros.! You think I'm JPH? OMG THAT IS TOOOO FUNNY! LOLOL!

I'm flattered, really I am. However, as much as I'd like to take credit, I'm not JPH. I don't even live in the same country. Go ahead, check my IP. Not even close!

>Hello JP “Mary” Holding! Your language and style sounds to me like “Mary” is a She-Male JP Holding.

I am capable of imitating many styles. Imitating JPH in some way is amusing to me. I can also imitate the mannerisms of other people. What, do you have JPHOCD or something?

>Since you have no Blogger profile, you are (in all likelihood) Mr. Big Mouth Holding himself: Mentally deficient, but still legally literate…but only slightly!

LOL! I don't have a blogger profile because I don't have a freaking blog, man! I created this account for the sole purpose of "trolling" a specific blog called CoalitionEyeOpenerFilms.

>Hey, Holding want-to-be clone, the last time I took the “Chicken Challenge” you/ he blocked my emails.

I didn't block $#** and I am not him. If you emailed me I would not block you--I would argue with you FOREVER because that's what I do. You don't even know what my email is and it's so far from JPH's that it's not even funny. I don't argue by email, I argue by post. I prefer to have this $#** out in the light of day where people can see.

>PS: How’s things going for the wife at the Fla. prison?

I wouldn't know, I've never met JPH's wife. Or JPH for that matter.

Now, do you have a REAL argument, or are you just goona go on like this all day?

Harry McCall said...

"Now, do you have a REAL argument, or are you just goona go on like this all day?"

You are in the comment section of my post...duh!

So, go ahead and comment on the post!

Oh, I forgot, Tektonic Apologetic Ministry can only argue Bible and NOT religion in general as this post does, so you are left high a dry.

Mary said...

If you think I can't argue religion then you don't know me very well, bub.

Going on about mentally ill people and making it sound like it's religion that drove them bat$#** insane is not a real argument. However I am bored, so I'll treat it like a real one.

The Bible didn't give them anything. They came up with their illusions of grandeur on their own--in fact, they show their own ignorance of the Bible when they assume Messianic Status (i.e. Mr. Purple Koolaid Himself Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc). Jesus said in the Bible that "nobody knows the day or the hour" and that "others will come in My Name (and will be FALSE PROPHETS), do not listen to them." So while this is expected, it is also not a strike against Christianity, as all is happening as Jesus SAID it would, more or less.

I'm struck by a scene in Old Skool Law and Disorder, when Michael Moriarty was still there playing ADA Ben Stone. That's back when the show was STACKED with Catholic characters. The man on trial was a cult leader claiming to be Jesus, and when he was on the stand, Ben Stone countered him with Matt. 23:24: 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; [b]believe it not.[/b] Pwned.

Now I could go on about how mentally ill people pretending to be Messianic figures are actually agents of teh Devil, but eh. DOesn't really matter. It's sufficient to point out that those people are misusing the Bible.

Many mentally unstable people (who do NOT claim messianic status) cling to the Bible because to them it represents some form of stability. But when one's mind is not right, one can misinterpret the "voices in your head" as the voice of God or whatever.

What about all the mentally unstable people who are atheist, some of whom are actively hostile to God? You DO know that it's a sign of mental illness to fight against something that you believe does not exist, right? Being nonreligious does NOT protect one from mental illness.

Harry McCall said...

While I myself know God does not exist, I’m fighting the concept that humans claim is God. I fight, not the puppet (God), but the puppeteer / ventriloquist (believer) who speaks for the puppet / God without which, the puppet would slump over lifeless.

I’ve asked this question before of Christians here at DC: Just how do I provoke God to attack and kill me? Just what can I do to contract some divine disease just like King Uzziah did? What about divine cancer…God I “beseech Thee” to smite me down just as you did the Prophets of Baal! Can you, God, do that to me?

Ah yes, 40 years from now, when I finally die of old age, you’ll say: See, God did act and kill this blasphemer, but on second thought, you’ll probably be long dead of cancer yourself, Mary! Of course, Christians all know God (as a loving Heavenly father) simply called his child (Mary) home to Heaven to be with Jesus. Total B.S.!

So, if as you claim, atheists are mentally ill for fighting something they deny exist, what proof you have that God exist? Just how and where do I poke the bee’s nest of God’s wrath to get stung? At least, I’m fighting a concept while your Christians are chasing the wind!!

Mary said...

>While I myself know God does not exist, I’m fighting the concept that humans claim is God. I fight, not the puppet (God), but the puppeteer / ventriloquist (believer) who speaks for the puppet / God without which, the puppet would slump over lifeless.

That's your opinion.

>I’ve asked this question before of Christians here at DC: Just how do I provoke God to attack and kill me? Just what can I do to contract some divine disease just like King Uzziah did? What about divine cancer…God I “beseech Thee” to smite me down just as you did the Prophets of Baal! Can you, God, do that to me?

Dude, this isn't the Old Testament. This is the Messianic Era and God is probably not going to, in the grand scheme of things, bother with little old you. He's got better things to do. Did you not realize that The Messianic Era is a lassiez-faire era where people can go on about their business without presumably worrying about blatant Smiting from the Heavens™? You'll only know for sure whether you were right or wrong after you die. Only problem is by then it will be too late to smarten up.

>Ah yes, 40 years from now, when I finally die of old age, you’ll say: See, God did act and kill this blasphemer, but on second thought, you’ll probably be long dead of cancer yourself, Mary! Of course, Christians all know God (as a loving Heavenly father) simply called his child (Mary) home to Heaven to be with Jesus. Total B.S.!

Dude, I don't think like that. Thinking like that is stupid.

>So, if as you claim, atheists are mentally ill for fighting something they deny exist, what proof you have that God exist?

1) The Universe Exists. That is all.

Now if you want to be specific, and what proof do I have that THIS God (Biblical) exists, I'd have to say that in the Bible, where God pwned the slag outta all the 'other gods'--and Jesus' resurrection from the dead which was seen by eyewitnesses--the Bible's historical accounts are written as those who have seen the things they are describing--and various other archaelogical and other concurrences.

Also, as an aside, it is SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for life to have self-created. Know about a little phenomenon called "Hydrolysis"? That'll go a long way to explaining how Abiogenesis is IMPOSSIBLE.

>Just how and where do I poke the bee’s nest of God’s wrath to get stung? At least, I’m fighting a concept while your Christians are chasing the wind!!

Well, I suppose you could try doing the whole meal deal--you'd have to like, do bad immoral things or something. See, a lot of "smiting" is actually born of the consequences of actions, rather than direct action on the part of God. God says don't do such and such because of what will happen--it doesn't start out as "don't do such and such or I WILL DO blahblahblah to you"--although he'll throw that in too if he thinks it's serious enough.

But honestly? Unless you're like killing people left and right, raping women like no tomorrow, stealing and embezzling to beat the band, and doing more drugs than Cheech and Chong, Denis Leary, Robert Downey Jr, and Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy and Keith Richards combined, not much is probably going to happen. That's all saved up for later.

Fighting a concept is one thing, but trying to imagine that life and the Universe could have spontaneously occurred is also chasing the wind.

Harry McCall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry McCall said...

Mary: “Dude, this isn't the Old Testament. This is the Messianic Era and God is probably not going to, in the grand scheme of things, bother with little old you. He's got better things to do. Did you not realize that The Messianic Era is a lassiez-faire era where people can go on about their business without presumably worrying about blatant Smiting from the Heavens™? You'll only know for sure whether you were right or wrong after you die. Only problem is by then it will be too late to smarten up.”

“The Messianic Era is a lassiez-faire era…” Honestly Mary, you just neutered Jesus’ claims that all his believers would work miracles and these even greater than Jesus himself because he went to the Father. The only lazy “lassiez-faire” is the claims of Jesus in the Gospels. See John 14: 12! You just “Dispensationalized" away all the promises of power given to the post resurrection disciples of Jesus and to all believers to keep from facing Gospel facts.



Mary: "But honestly? Unless you're like killing people left and right, raping women like no tomorrow, stealing and embezzling to beat the band, and doing more drugs than Cheech and Chong, Denis Leary, Robert Downey Jr, and Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy and Keith Richards combined, not much is probably going to happen. That's all saved up for later."

As always Mary; it’s a “pie in the sky in the sweet by and by”. Hell, I want my pie in the here and now with ice cream on top of it!

Just as the old gospel song reads, “God is going to get you for that; God is going to get you for that! It an’t no use to run and hide, He knows where you are at! God is going to get you for that!” Well God, bring it on!!!!

As far a raping, killing, stealing, I’ll leave that to Moses and the Israelites as directed by God himself(Numbers 31)!

Mary said...

Oh harry you are too much LOL.
>Honestly Mary, you just neutered Jesus’ claims that all his believers would work miracles and these even greater than Jesus himself because he went to the Father. The only lazy “lassiez-faire” is the claims of Jesus in the Gospels. See John 14: 12! You just “Dispensationalized" away all the promises of power given to the post resurrection disciples of Jesus and to all believers to keep from facing Gospel facts.

Working miracles isn't the same as "going to get the bad guys" harry. Come on you can do better than this. When I said "lassiez-faire" I mean the direct actions of God Himself, not the disciples'. (And they were not instructed to go out and make with teh smiting). Nice strawman though harry.

>As always Mary; it’s a “pie in the sky in the sweet by and by”. Hell, I want my pie in the here and now with ice cream on top of it!

Just as the old gospel song reads, “God is going to get you for that; God is going to get you for that! It an’t no use to run and hide, He knows where you are at! God is going to get you for that!” Well God, bring it on!!!!

Hahahahaha. This is just toooo amusing. Be careful what you wish for, harry.

>As far a raping, killing, stealing, I’ll leave that to Moses and the Israelites as directed by God himself(Numbers 31)!

Oh you wanna play that game, huh? Great. Problem with your Numbers 31 reference is that it's out of context because it is NOT the whole story. The story doesn't begin in Numbers 31 but in fact begins all the way back in Numbers 25. The King of Moab wanted to ENTRAP Israel by causing them to turn against their God, and by the same token, the king reasoned logically that God would turn against them. It was both a sexual and religious seduction (given the practices of the worship of Baal). These were Midianite women who'd had the full support of their husbands/fathers/tribal elders to go doooooooo this filthy deed.

So yeah, God said go smite their asses after the fact. You don't mess with the God of Israel. And you can't prove that there was any rape involved in Numbers 31. The kids who survived would have been too young.

Either the women agreed with Balaam’s plan, and then talked their husbands into letting them commit wholesale, pre-meditated, and government-facilitated adultery (for the sake of Balak’s paranoia, and Midianite anti-Israel sentiment) [the wording of the text suggests that THIS is the most probable historical reconstruction];
Or the men agreed with Balaam’s plan and then talked their wives into committing wholesale, pre-meditated, and government-facilitated adultery (for the sake of Balak’s paranoia, and Midianite anti-Israel sentiment);
Or the men agreed with Balaam’s plan and then forced their wives into committing wholesale, pre-meditated, and government-facilitated adultery (for the sake of Balak’s paranoia, and Midianite anti-Israel sentiment)
Or the chiefs/elite of Midian forced both men and women to agree on committing wholesale, pre-meditated, and government-facilitated adultery (for the sake of Balak’s paranoia, and Midianite anti-Israel sentiment);


Additionally,

Fathers and mothers may have talked their unmarried daughters into (or forced them into) committing wholesale, pre-meditated, and government-facilitated adultery (for the sake of Balak’s paranoia, and Midianite anti-Israel sentiment);
The Midianite power forced the Moabite women to ‘lead the charge’ (but they disappear in the narrative after the first mention—everything else is ‘Midianite only’).
The government plans, funds, and orchestrates the mass caravans of Moabite women, and Midianite migration to the area where Israel is camping.


Now, I can perhaps see this occurring on a individual small scale—I’m sure it happens today in even ‘modern cultures’ to ‘get ahead’, but to think that a culture/nation would deliberately do this marriage-destructive, family-destructive, and de-humanizing atrocity on the scale of 5,000-15,000 wives/families (perhaps constituting most/all of the tribal group or sub-culture involved!), is staggering. As destructive as regular ‘ritual prostitution’ would have been to “healthy family life” in Canaanite areas in Palestine, this action by Midian makes that look wonderfully innocent and harmless by comparison…



And then, not content with destroying their own families (and teaching/showing the kids that ‘questionable national goals’ are more important than loyalty/intimacy in marriage), they use this to destroy another nation’s families and marriages.



“What the fathers of Moab could not do, their daughters were able to accomplish, to bring Israel to its knees--sexually, morally, in false worship, and in great judgment. . [EBCOT, Num 25]

Shygetz said...

Mary, your beloved God commanded the death of every male child, regardless of age. Nothing in your unconvincing apologetics even begins to justify infaticide.

Of course we can't prove that rape occurred, seeing as there is no evidence that this event even happened at all. But, the text clearly says that all virgins were to be "spared for yourselves" and were split as booty. So we're talking at the very least slavery. And since God is objectively moral and unchangable, and since He obviously condones and even commands slavery and infaticide, that requires that slavery and infaticide be eternally moral.

Nice God you got there. He reads like Satan with a better marketing department.

Harry McCall said...

So, lets see Mary; these virgin girls - who just witnessed their fathers, mothers, brothers, and married sisters all be slaughtered by the command Yahweh via the Israelites; and these traumatized young girls felt their evil families (by your own comment) deserved exactly what they got, plus when with these murdering Israelites (killed everything that had sex) took these virgin girls back to their tents, these same HOLY / Religious MURDERING RAPERS OF GOD to be used in any way they saw fit…man, (if you really believed that)then that’s what I call "God’s love in action"!

Mary, you know how modern secular society is better than the Bible? We sent cold blooded murders to prison and prosecute pedophiles to the fullest extent of the law while your Biblical God cheers them on!!

Even if you understand that Numbers 31 is religious propaganda, then you just might also believe everything the Nazis said about the Jews in 1939!

Mary said...

Mary, your beloved God commanded the death of every male child, regardless of age. Nothing in your unconvincing apologetics even begins to justify infaticide.
O-kay, whence cometh your Revelation From On High™ that this was "immoral"? Why is "infanticide" more wrong than killing older people? Are you telling me you have objective moral standards? Where do these standards come from?

Of course we can't prove that rape occurred, seeing as there is no evidence that this event even happened at all. But, the text clearly says that all virgins were to be "spared for yourselves" and were split as booty. So we're talking at the very least slavery. And since God is objectively moral and unchangable, and since He obviously condones and even commands slavery and infaticide, that requires that slavery and infaticide be eternally moral.

Ummm, we COULD be talking about, oh I don't know...ADOPTION here? Hmmm? They'd have been too young to be slaves at any rate.

Nice God you got there. He reads like Satan with a better marketing department.
Can you convince me that your position is more "moral" than God's? What exactly would you have Him do differently?

So, lets see Mary; these virgin girls - who just witnessed their fathers, mothers, brothers, and married sisters all be slaughtered by the command Yahweh via the Israelites; and these traumatized young girls felt their evil families (by your own comment) deserved exactly what they got, plus when with these murdering Israelites (killed everything that had sex) took these virgin girls back to their tents, these same HOLY / Religious MURDERING RAPERS OF GOD to be used in any way they saw fit…man, (if you really believed that)then that’s what I call "God’s love in action"!
Wow, that's quite the stack of fallacies you got going there Harry Harry Quite Contrary. First of all, "Murdering". Incorrect. Murder is unjustifiable homicide. War is not unjustifiable, and those particular actions were definitely not unjustifiable. God had plenty of Love, plenty of patience...hell he gave Canaan +400 years to smarten up, why do you think Israel was in Egypt for so freaking long...and they'd simply run out the clock.

Sorry, harry, but even historians don't buy that Israel was into raping. And God's love isn't mere mushy sentimentality. A man who loves his son will still turn him over to the cops if he finds out boyo has been stealing things or killing people.

Mary, you know how modern secular society is better than the Bible? We sent cold blooded murders to prison and prosecute pedophiles to the fullest extent of the law while your Biblical God cheers them on!!
Guess what, harry. Back then they didn't have prisons. Society was always one paycheck away from homelessness and chaos. Heck, they were lucky if they were organized enough to fight off a band of roving murderous thugs (like the Amalekites). So they did what they had to do to survive, because unlike you they had no air-conditioned offices to retreat to, with 911 on speed dial on your cell phone and a SWAT/ERT team minutes away. Go on ahead with your provincialist snobbery there, man, because you have no clue. What would YOU do if you were trapped in a time and place where you basically had to fend for yourself? If you DIDN'T wipe out all potential threats and threats to come, you were boned.

And no, biblical God does not like Pedophiles. He'd be cheering on the prosecution of such sick ****s, and the angels rejoice when one such as Dahmer gets a shiv to the neck in prison.

Hey, BTW that sounds pretty judgmental what you just put there harry. I thought you atheists were all supposed to be about getting away from judging?

Mary said...

Even if you understand that Numbers 31 is religious propaganda, then you just might also believe everything the Nazis said about the Jews in 1939!

Well, you'd have prove that it is in fact "religious propaganda". No, I don't believe what the Nazis said about the Jews. I do believe however what the Jews said about the Nazis.

But honestly harry, I don't get why you're worked up about something that you believe never really happened in the first place. Why go all frothy at hypothetical, mythical mass killing? It's like some Star Wars geek agonizing about all the souls who perished on Alderaan after Darth Vader blew it up with the Death Star.

Harry McCall said...

Mary: “Wow, that's quite the stack of fallacies you got going there Harry Harry Quite Contrary. First of all, "Murdering". Incorrect. Murder is unjustifiable homicide. War is not unjustifiable, and those particular actions were definitely not unjustifiable.”

Brevard Childs states: (Commentary on Commandment 6) “An initial difficulty of the commandment lies in the understanding the precise meaning of the verb ‘to kill’ (rasah). It has long been recognized that a special type killing is intended. Often the verb has been translated ‘You shall not murder’ (NJPS), which appears to reconcile in part the Decalogue’s prohibition of killing with the frequent taking of life in the Old Testament. However, the basic distinction between murder and killing, namely, the element of intentionally, cannot be sustained for the Hebrew verb. (Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context, p.75; Fortress Press 1985) The late Brevard Childs was Professor of Old Testament at Yale.

I have NEVER heard you poor apologetic excuse in all my 47 years of listening to radio, TV preachers or attending church services. In fact, no preacher in his right mind will touch Numbers 31!

Please, Mary, what is your source (other than Holding) for your claim? Please quote commentary and author!

Rico El said...

crazy is crazy no matter if one has what you call "religion" or not.

What you wrote is just a reminder of what the world is like.

human.

ricoel

Drow Ranger said...

Dude Harry, I KNEW it was "murder" (as opposed to "killing") long before I even was on internets (and thus long before I knew who JPH was). The particular minister of my church has studied Hebrew extensively. Also it is great having Jewish friends.

For example, two of the most eminent commentators of the time, Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam) and Rabbi Joseph Bekhor-Shor, felt the need to go on at uncharacteristic length in order to explain that the Hebrew text refers only to unlawful killing. Both these scholars pointed out plainly the differences between the Hebrew roots for killing and murdering (for good measure, Bekhor Shor even provides a French translation of the latter term: meurtre), and brought ample evidence of the Torah's condoning other types of killing.

While your dead source has a point, in that ratsah is somewhat broader in application sometimes, the answer lies in the fact that we have to use the context in order to determine the meaning. Incidentally, Hebrew has a similar problem with "smite" (nakah), which has a myriad of meanings, which vary in intensity.

to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill
(Niphal) to be stricken or smitten
(Pual) to be stricken or smitten
(Hiphil)
to smite, strike, beat, scourge, clap, applaud, give a thrust
to smite, kill, slay (man or beast)
to smite, attack, attack and destroy, conquer, subjugate, ravage
to smite, chastise, send judgment upon, punish, destroy
(Hophal) to be smitten
to receive a blow
to be wounded
to be beaten
to be (fatally) smitten, be killed, be slain
to be attacked and captured
to be smitten (with disease)
to be blighted (of plants)


It's not as simple as your buddy makes it, Harry. I think he had a problem with context. After all, it wouldn't make sense for God to command killing (as in war, for instance, or capital punishment) and then forbid it, then command more of it. It's not logical. And the context of the particular passages--taken together with other commands that ran concurrently--lend strong support to the translation "murder" as opposed to the broader "killing." (Although, I can see this command having a broad application, as in try not to accidentally kill someone if you can. While it wouldn't be murder, it's still something to be avoided).

gabholli said...

Call the following reasoning delusional if you want, but this completely seems to me to sum up all the peoples' dilemmas here in a nutshell:

If you don't believe, you can find a million reasons not to. But if you do believe, you can only find one.

The Bible says that the world will hate you if you become a Christian; this is completely obvious to me.

Jim said...

If historical records over the past 150 years indicate rain has never fell at specific location. Does it mean(throughout world history) rain has never fell at that location? It is an unfalsifiable claim. It cannot be proved or disproved. This is the case with radiometric dating methods. Large assumptions are made.

Not in one single instance does any credible dating method contradict the bible. Oldest known living tree is ~ 4900 years old. Oldest know living organism is ~ 13,000 years old.

The creation of the earth is 11,013 BC(13,022 years ago). Noachian flood 4990 BC(6,999 years ago). Birth of Christ 7 BC. Atonement 33 AD. End of the world 2011 AD.

This biblical timeline is based on all information contained in God's Word.