posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 09:20 PM
So I didnt have time to read the entire 45+ pages of the thread, forgive me if I repeat what someone has already stated... I've studied Christianity
(and all the worlds major, and some minor religions as well) and I feel I might be able to help explain a Christian response to the original video.
I saw 5 main things covered in the 10 points the video made, they can be summed up as follows:
1. Bible (notably the Old Testament) demanding the death penalty
2. One part about Jesus and self-amputation
3. Sexism in the Old and New Testament
4. Slavery Promoted in the Old and New Testament
5. Prophecy that called for death/killing of many people
1. Bible (O.T.) demanding death penalty for millions of Americans
The basic response to this requires an understanding of Abraham-based religions. The belief is that there is sin (sin being an act of rebellion
against God), and that the punishment for all sins is death. So when someone sinned in the O.T., thats why they had to sacrifice animals, it was a
temporary replacement for the death the person deserved for their sin. If the sin was significant enough, such as violation of one of the main 10
Commandments, things like adultery, and such, then an animal's death wasn't sufficient, the person(s) themselves had to die. Now moving to the New
Testament, this is why Jesus had to die. Many people wonder this "Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn't he just live a normal life, preach and if
people believed in him, yay! without him having to die?" Jesus was himself becoming the human sacrifice, and because he was deemed sinless, he was
able to substitue his death for the death that we, as sinners, deserve. So the O.T. calls for the death penelty are still valid, but the death for
that has already occured, in Jesus's death. Thats the basic, simple version of the justification for the first one. So no part of the Bible is
calling for "death to millions of innocent Americans". Another minor point on that, if your going to assume the Bible's call for the death penelty
is valid, then you can't say that the people are innocent, they would be guilty of breaking some rule in the Bible. There arguement is that they
view the people as innocent, which means their already disregarding the Bible, so why should they care so much about the punishment for something they
don't even think is a crime?
2. The verse where Jesus states to 'cut off your hand' (Matt. 5:29-30) was not at that time, nor really sense then, taken in a literal "take a hack
saw to your hand and go at it". If you look at the surronding verses (Matt. 5:27-30) Jesus is clearly using this as a metaphore. Verses 27-28 are
talking about how in the past, people where only punished for acctually commiting sins, but that his followers should rather strive for more then
that, they should strive to control how they think, rather then just how they act. Its a metaphore for selfcontrol, not a literal command. No
Christian (or mainstream Christian sect that I know of) would say this is literal.
3. The Bible is sexist. While parts of the Bible are reflective of the culture at the time, which was unquestioningly male dominated, saying that the
Bible is sexist is to ignore much of what is in the Bible. In a day in age where women were largely treated as property, God lays out laws that are
specifically intended to guard widows, and protect women from rape and assult. In cultures at the time, being a virgin was very important, so if a
women was raped, her 'value' greatly droped, and as such she was looked down on more then the man that raped her, but the God's rules in the O.T.
state to leave a women who is raped alone, if she resisted in any way (the stipulation that she had to resist was in place to make sure that a girl
who had willingly had sexual relations before marrage didnt just accuse the guy of raping her to get out of any trouble herself. Also, the N.T. has
stuff that is very anti-sexist.
Continued next post