For the Bible tells me so

No, these are NOT my positions. Or His.
So this is what happens on a regular basis in the past decade or so. The particulars are almost unimportant, though I’ll give you an example anyway.

1. Someone will say something I think is outrageous, and justify their position by citing Jesus, God and/or the Bible. Current example: Rep. Stephen Fincher’s defense of Congress slashing $4.1 billion + from food stamps over the next 10 years was from the New Testament, specifically 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” As the article notes, “Because many of the members of this sect believed that Jesus’ return was imminent, they stopped working. They figured why work when Jesus would be back at any moment to sweep us all into heaven?” Interesting that the people of first century Thessaloniki sound like certain current Christians – though not all of them – who believe polluting the earth is OK, even good, because the Lord will come back soon to fix it.

2. Other folks will sneer, “See how Christians are!” This is inevitably followed by calls to ban religions, because if we did that, it’d all be SO much better. Usually the “liberal church” will be called to task for not repudiating the original offending comment.

Rinse, repeat.

I have said again and again (and again and again and…): beliefs like those of Fincher do not reflect all of the Christian church or all the Christian people. In fact, if Jesus had any bias, it was in favor of the poor, the downtrodden.

May I make it clear, please: next time some yahoo proclaims the word of God as a tool of oppression (and/or stupidity), just assume I oppose it. I may not mention it all the time, because that’s what I would be writing about ALL THE TIME. I’m not interested in doing that; it would be boring for me, and quite possibly for you.

I stole this from some Facebook friend of my sister’s: “Some people think they are Christian evangelists, but instead they’re being self-appointed ‘Bullies for God.’ (I just made up that term.) Remember, ‘the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God’ – James 1:20. It’s the GOODNESS of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4) not anger, badgering, hostility, and contempt.”

5 thoughts on “For the Bible tells me so”

  1. Our church is going through the book of James and the dangers of not taming the tongue. It’s very eye-opening and makes me really analyze the things people (and myself) say about others, while claiming to be Christians. Much to be learned there.

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  2. As I’ve said many times, you’re one of the people I always think of as an example of the “good guys” when some idiot—politicians in particular—uses Christianity to defend their bigotry or anti-Christian political behaviours. However, it wouldn’t be necessary to debunk the idiots so often if more ordinary Christians understood their own religion better—the historic context a verse was written in, the variant translations, etc.—and not just go along with whatever some preacher claims the verse says (almost always to back whatever political position he wants to promote).

    I agree, you shouldn’t counter every idiotic thing someone says in the name of Christianity, and you shouldn’t be expected to. However, mainstream churches need to do much better—proclaiming truth one of their jobs, after all.

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  3. The bible is full of explanations for excuses to justify odd things, so is the Koran and the Tanakh the Hebrew bible. It was written by man and everybody wrote what suited him the best. It had been translated so many times from it’s original language probably hebrew as Jesus disciples were Jews too. There were probably a lot of mistranslations too. I worked as a translator, I know how you can manipulate translations !
    So we continue to kill each other in the name of God and Allah who are the same and everybody prays to God to win a war ! Poor God and poor Jesus !

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  4. This morning I stumbled upon another blow to Bible literalism. Back in 1972 some fellow writing for a science journal called Applied Optics calculated, according to statements in the Bible (specifically Isaiah 30:26 and Revelation 20:8) that the temperature of Heaven must be around 525 degrees Celsius, because Heaven receives 50 times more radiation from the sun than Earth does. Meanwhile the temperature of Hell cannot be more than 444.6 degrees Celsius, which is the boiling point of sulfur, at which the lake of fire and brimstone would simply evaporate. Therefore, both places are hot, but Heaven is hotter than Hell.

    Nonsense? You bet.

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  5. It’s maybe strange, but in my environment I’ve found that people who are religious tend to have less narrow-minded views towards Christians, whether or not their religion is Christianity.

    People misuse Bible quotes like crazy. I got into a death penalty argument with someone and he said Jesus was pro-death penalty. Which blew my mind, so I asked him for the source. He said Jesus said: “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” Which is, of course, true. But it’s Jesus quoting someone else, and using the quote to point out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.

    So… yeah. Religion is a big, big time Rorschach/TAT.

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