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Discussing the Bible: Seven Rules of Engagement

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posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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Rules of Engagement regarding Christianity


I have mentioned before that I believe evangelicals in the U.S. are about to engage in a big conversation about the Bible—a conversation about how we interpret it, how we apply it, how we talk about it, and how we relate to it. My hope is that we will move forward with a more nuanced, inclusive, and humble approach to the Bible, one that leaves room for a diversity of interpretations and applications while preserving the Bible’s time-tested value and authority. To do this, I suspect we will have to agree on some basic “rules of engagement.” In my own life, I’ve found these to be helpful:



Good rules with a good cartoon explaining it.




posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:23 PM
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Enough rules! When you find the truth, the truth shall set you free!! As Jesus stated, Light is come into the world, but they prefer the darkness that rules over them: for their deeds are hidden by darkness!!!



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:43 PM
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The truth is simple.

Bias = Hate

Love = Love = God's Love to man = man's love back to God in humility and respect

Luke 10:25 - Love God and Love your neighbor = Salvation

The rest of the Bible is commentary on this: Sin is against your neighbor. You are your own neighbor as well. No need for law if you Love God and your neighbor. This is the entire story of the Bible. Bias is the flaming sword that protects the tree of life. Eliminate bias and use the key of Love to open the door to eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 


This one is my favorite! People don't stop to think that it is not the Bible they are reading but their interpretation of the Bible, or worse yet, someone else's (Pastor, Priest, etc.) interpretation of the Bible.


6) I will keep in mind that my interpretation of the Bible is only as inerrant as I am.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by SuperiorEd
 


Or...

6) I will keep in mind that my interpretation of the Bible is only as inerrant as I am.


Not sure how errant you might be.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 08:22 PM
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It's common knowledge now that the bible is a compilation of sacred books created by men whom, under guise of creating a common inspirational book to help people the obtain a spiritual unity, when what actually occurred, was a group of men with a controlling agenda conspired to create a base to guide a majority of people into an oppressive and blinding social system that would damn anything that was contrary as heresy. This compilation had to have enough truth in content as to insure that they themselves could not be looked upon as heretics. It would probably make a wonderful motion picture to try and capture the drama of such a polarized and ambitious endeavor.

I don't think or believe we have an complete portrait of Jesus in the New Testament. My sense is that he is far more powerful than he is presented. I also think the Acts of the Apostles has been altered in a way to strike fear into the minds of lesser people. I would go as far as to say that it may be a complete fiction.

The induction of Paul is suspect in the sense that women are rendered in a less pleasant or significant light. He also displaced and redefined the portrayal of Jesus more to the compilers' likings and agenda.

I have seen firsthand so much damage done and so much damage done has been recorded in history by so-called christians that I insist on distancing myself from whole concept. I believe in Jesus, I don't believe in christians. I further don't think Jesus is really up with the whole christian enterprise as it is loosed upon humanity today.

This is why we are at the end of an age. We are so removed from the truth that we need to be brought back to its reality.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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I really enjoyed reading your perspective.

I think it might be better to observe it this way: Each time the pendulum swings away from truth, God swings it back. Man and God are both in the image of the Bible. The Bible can be compared to a mirror. A mirror can only see itself in reflection. Since we are also mirrors, we mostly see ourselves in the reflection of other people, nature and written words. You cannot see a fault in another without seeing it in your self image first. You cannot see a good in yourself without seeing it in another image. We are always comparing. The Bible reflects our walk with God for this education by degree.

Why did I say education? In the Garden (Earth), God said not to eat the fruit of knowledge. It was His desire to teach us gently. Since we ate of it ourselves in pride, God said we would toil for our understanding. This is evident. The Bible is this story of our walk with God in toil. Truth is never easy. Nature was our textbook. God is our teacher. When we drop the bias and love Him by loving others, we can then walk with God again for our education in the garden.

As we examine the Bible, it gives off the image of us in relation. If we are biased toward God, we see the bias coming back from our own self image. If we hate others, we see this in the image again. The message of Jesus was clear. Love God and love your fellow man. Apart from seeing the world in this way, we only see our own bias reflecting back. This is the flaming sword protecting the tree of life. We have the key to moving the flaming sword. Love.


Originally posted by RighteousDude
It's common knowledge now that the bible is a compilation of sacred books created by men whom, under guise of creating a common inspirational book to help people the obtain a spiritual unity, when what actually occurred, was a group of men with a controlling agenda conspired to create a base to guide a majority of people into an oppressive and blinding social system that would damn anything that was contrary as heresy. This compilation had to have enough truth in content as to insure that they themselves could not be looked upon as heretics. It would probably make a wonderful motion picture to try and capture the drama of such a polarized and ambitious endeavor.

I don't think or believe we have an complete portrait of Jesus in the New Testament. My sense is that he is far more powerful than he is presented. I also think the Acts of the Apostles has been altered in a way to strike fear into the minds of lesser people. I would go as far as to say that it may be a complete fiction.

The induction of Paul is suspect in the sense that women are rendered in a less pleasant or significant light. He also displaced and redefined the portrayal of Jesus more to the compilers' likings and agenda.

I have seen firsthand so much damage done and so much damage done has been recorded in history by so-called christians that I insist on distancing myself from whole concept. I believe in Jesus, I don't believe in christians. I further don't think Jesus is really up with the whole christian enterprise as it is loosed upon humanity today.

This is why we are at the end of an age. We are so removed from the truth that we need to be brought back to its reality.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 


From the link...


3) I won’t accuse you of “picking and choosing” when we all employ some selectivity when interpreting and applying the Bible.


...I'm sorry, but I disagree with this sentiment completely. People need to be accused of picking and choosing. If you're going to take a rule from the Old Testament and then ignore the other rules contained within the same chapter or book without some adequate reasoning I will definitively accuse those basing their lives on the Bible of picking and choosing and of being hypocrites.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

...I'm sorry, but I disagree with this sentiment completely. People need to be accused of picking and choosing. If you're going to take a rule from the Old Testament and then ignore the other rules contained within the same chapter or book without some adequate reasoning I will definitively accuse those basing their lives on the Bible of picking and choosing and of being hypocrites.


I'm sorry, but I disagree with your disagreement. To use the bible as an absolute moral compass is naive. There are, however, some pieces that apply to today's standards and some that don't. Will you accuse someone of hypocricy for loving their neighbor and eating grapes off of the ground? The bible is NOT an absolute document, but a guidebook. You can pick what applies, and leave the rest alone if you want.

If you were reading the Zombie Survival guide and you didn't have a chainsaw, you'd gloss over the section about chainsaws, wouldn't you? It doesn't apply, and if it does, and you can better adapt it, then do so.

Based on your posts, I feel that you are more adamant about the bible being a single collected work that is "all or nothing" than most Christians do. I think that's why you're not taken as seriously by them as you would like.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 


Originally posted by SorensDespair
I'm sorry, but I disagree with your disagreement. To use the bible as an absolute moral compass is naive. There are, however, some pieces that apply to today's standards and some that don't. Will you accuse someone of hypocricy for loving their neighbor and eating grapes off of the ground? The bible is NOT an absolute document, but a guidebook. You can pick what applies, and leave the rest alone if you want.


...then the Bible isn't a guide book, it's just a book for the sole purpose of allowing a divine authority to one's own biases. With the idea that you just get to choose what does and doesn't apply the Bible itself becomes useless. Loving your neighbor? I'm sorry, but we don't need the Bible for that.




If you were reading the Zombie Survival guide and you didn't have a chainsaw, you'd gloss over the section about chainsaws, wouldn't you? It doesn't apply, and if it does, and you can better adapt it, then do so.


Except that's a completely false comparison. The Bible has guidelines for how to treat situations that are entirely relevant...but are still ignored. Nobody is calling for Biblical laws for rape...yet rape happens all the time (and that is one of the most disturbing realities I've found). This isn't about not having a chainsaw, it's about choosing to gloss over passages for no reason other than their entire heinousness. It just makes the Bible itself useless in terms of morality, as morality becomes confirmation bias with the divine backing up the claims.



Based on your posts, I feel that you are more adamant about the bible being a single collected work that is "all or nothing" than most Christians do. I think that's why you're not taken as seriously by them as you would like.


...except that I'm not. I understand what the Bible is...it's a collection. But treating that collection as a moral guide, saying that any of the passages have any relevance beyond the relevance of classical Greek mythology, and then ignoring vast swathes of it for now good reason? That's hypocrisy.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


So you're saying its all or nothing...

Either take the book as 100% the word of God and every page is Valid...or its all garbage?



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
...except that I'm not. I understand what the Bible is...it's a collection. But treating that collection as a moral guide, saying that any of the passages have any relevance beyond the relevance of classical Greek mythology, and then ignoring vast swathes of it for now good reason? That's hypocrisy.


Are you saying that classical Greek mythology has no moral relevance? Aside from the etiological, the moral lessons learned from the Homeric hymns, like the hymn to Hermes, for example, can be applicable to this day.

The big problem is that, philosophically and scientifically, the gods of ancient Greece can't be applied today in any form. However, the concept of an eternal "entity" that exists outside of space and time isn't disprovable at this point. While we can accurately say that the planet Mars is not Ares, that a rainbow isn't Iris delivering a message for the gods, or that a meteorite isn't Hermes doing the same, there's always room for understanding the Platonic preexistent thought as being divine and the Christian God.



posted on Apr, 29 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

...then the Bible isn't a guide book, it's just a book for the sole purpose of allowing a divine authority to one's own biases. With the idea that you just get to choose what does and doesn't apply the Bible itself becomes useless. Loving your neighbor? I'm sorry, but we don't need the Bible for that.



Actually, it's a history of the Jewish people, compounded with Jewish mythology. The great thing about mythology and fairy tales is that whether or not the story is true, there's a moral to most of them which can be applied in today's terms.

For example, we know witches don't roast and eat children, but it's still not a bad idea to avoid strangers who offer you candy.
Or the Greek myth of Arachne. We know that we won't be turned into a spider, but you still shouldn't be a prideful PItA.
edit on 29-4-2011 by SorensDespair because: needed one of these "/" somewhere.



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 05:10 AM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 



Originally posted by SorensDespair
Actually, it's a history of the Jewish people, compounded with Jewish mythology.


Yes, a false history...that happens to contain 600 some odd commands for supposed moral living. And the Bible (well, the Old Testament is what we're really talking about here) isn't all mythic history.



The great thing about mythology and fairy tales is that whether or not the story is true, there's a moral to most of them which can be applied in today's terms.


Where's the mythology in the command to kill a rape victim who didn't scream loud enough for people to hear? Where's the mythology in the command to force her to marry her attacker if she did?




For example, we know witches don't roast and eat children, but it's still not a bad idea to avoid strangers who offer you candy.


And again, this is nothing like the Bible. Have you actually bothered reading it?



Or the Greek myth of Arachne. We know that we won't be turned into a spider, but you still shouldn't be a prideful PItA.


True...but again, the Bible contains specific moral commands. Some of which people ignore, some of which people embrace and seek to impose upon others. The myth of Arachne doesn't say "If someone is a prideful person, turn them into a spider." It's a simple fable.



posted on Apr, 30 2011 @ 05:15 AM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 



Originally posted by SorensDespair
Are you saying that classical Greek mythology has no moral relevance? Aside from the etiological, the moral lessons learned from the Homeric hymns, like the hymn to Hermes, for example, can be applicable to this day.


Of course they have no moral relevance. You don't get morality from a story, though you can teach it through story. Morality is something that should be reasoned, not something that should be taken directly from a story.

And again, the hymn you speak of has no specific moral commands for specific situations, which is different from the Bible.



The big problem is that, philosophically and scientifically, the gods of ancient Greece can't be applied today in any form.


...of course they can. Zeus is still unfalsifiable in the same way that you're going to mention below. How do you know he doesn't use meteorological forces to throw lightning?



However, the concept of an eternal "entity" that exists outside of space and time isn't disprovable at this point.


Um...what? Since when do we have to disprove everything we dismiss? That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.



While we can accurately say that the planet Mars is not Ares, that a rainbow isn't Iris delivering a message for the gods, or that a meteorite isn't Hermes doing the same, there's always room for understanding the Platonic preexistent thought as being divine and the Christian God.


Sure, if you don't care about your ideas conforming to evidence. If you just want to accept something because it's warm and fuzzy and unfalsifiable.

...oh, and the Christian god? Totally testable. Prayer studies have never, ever, ever, ever, ever yielded positive results. Just one example. Oh, and we know that the stars aren't set in a physical dome above a flat Earth. And we know that linguistic difference isn't a result of people annoying a deity with a construction project. And we know that the Earth wasn't created in 6 days 6000 years ago. And we know that ....well, I could just keep going on and on but I have to leave before a store closes.



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