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Want some good reasons to leave Christianity? Read the Bible

Out of context reading of the Bible will do this. I’ve always said I have no problem with anyone’s interpretation of scripture as long as it doesn’t conflict or contradict another part of scripture. When atheists take a portion of the Old Testament and paint God as an evil tyrant they are willingly ignoring the parts where His character is described and shown as loving. They are picking the part that they disagree with and using that as an excuse to not believe instead of investigating what that part really means. Sometimes holy discipline is harsh. When your child is running out into the street, you might push them out of the way to save them. Just pick out the pushing part and I look like a horrible parent. Look at the whole picture and see my intentions.

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

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I have been reading religious, non-religious, and anti-religious blogs, websites, and forums a long time. In so doing, I have ran across what follows, in one form or another, more times than I can count.

The biggest percentage of de-converted religious believers who I have met have told me that the most compelling reason for them to have started the process of de-conversion was reading their holy book in full.

Reading with a focus on comprehension allowed them to recoil in horror at the nonsense and contradictions in those antiquated books with their obsolete ‘wisdom.’

In order to believe a statement like that, wouldn’t a person necessarily have to also believe that:

1. People who believe in Christianity have not read the Bible.

2. People who believe in Christianity may have read the Bible but they lack the reading comprehension skills necessary to understand what the Bible actually says.

Number…

View original post 193 more words

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

26 thoughts on “Want some good reasons to leave Christianity? Read the Bible

  1. It’s interesting you use the phrase, Out of context,Tim.

    As your sect of Christianity is in the minority the vast majority of Christians would most definitely consider your literal reading of the bible completely out of context.

    How is it possible , therefore to expect a non-believer to understand this context when there is little agreement among believers?
    Furthermore, how does a new to the faith convert know how to study the bible in context?
    Your version or a Catholic’s version?
    Or maybe an Anglican’s version?

    I’m serious, how would a young/new convert know?

    Posted by Arkenaten | November 6, 2015, 4:52 pm
    • I believe my interpretation is the only interpretation that does not create any contradictions later on in the text. Old-earth interpretations create many contradictions. Feel free to correct me if you know of any examples.

      Posted by Tim | November 6, 2015, 5:10 pm
      • I am not saying you are incorrect, I think it is all nonsense. My point is you made the remark about context and I asked how this could be resolved with fellow Christians who – in many cases – vehemently disagree with your version of context. How is a new convert expected to know which is the correct context, especially with what’s at stake if ne chooses incorrectly?
        How would you explain the vast differences to a young child for example who wished to embrace christianity?

        Posted by Arkenaten | November 6, 2015, 5:28 pm
        • I would tell new Christians to examine their understanding of a certain part of scripture to the whole. Obviously, since the Bible is such a large collection, this can take years to do. Look for contradictions.

          By the way, there is nothing at stake if you choose a wrong interpretation as long as you accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness. That’s really it. The rest is important, but that is the only key to salvation.

          A young child actually usually doesn’t have issues. Ask him how many days it took God to create the world… 6 days. 🙂 It’s when we get older that we start to question those beliefs.

          Posted by Tim | November 6, 2015, 5:32 pm
          • By the way, there is nothing at stake if you choose a wrong interpretation as long as you accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness

            Really? I read a YEC’s blog( Elize, I think) last year(?) where a YEC commenter stated it was crucial, as if one was not going to accept the bible as literal then this opened the door to allow the reader to interpret however they wanted. it was his view this was unacceptable and thus any deviation from the text should be considered heretical and would lead to damnation and hell.
            And again, here we have two opposing views from two people who consider themselves YECs. which illustrates the dilemma and my example perfectly.
            How is a young child of a Old Earth Creationist expected to cope with possible emotional trauma if confronted by a fervent YEC school chum who states the former is definitely going to hell.
            And please don’t say this is trite because it happens and there are YEC schools that instill this belief in children. ACE schools are an example.
            Oh, and for the record, when I was around ten and attended Sunday School I did not believe in a literal 6 day creation and our local vicar affirmed this.
            So, bearing this in mind, how do you assure a young /new convert who may be considering simply ”following Jesus” from an Anglican perspective that an Anglican world view in this regard is false?
            Bearing in mind that he /she is acutely aware her choice may have dire consequences regarding his/her eternal soul and that all his/her friends and even family likely think YECs are round the bend?

            Posted by Arkenaten | November 6, 2015, 5:56 pm
            • This is extremely easily resolved. The Bible has no verse(s) that refer to your beliefs about origins affecting your salvation but it has plenty about your belief(s) about Jesus affecting it.

              Now, I agree with the warning that loosening Biblical authority in Genesis can easily lead to improper and out of context interpretations later on in scripture. In essence it weakens your testimony, but no there is no biblical evidence that it affects your salvation.

              Posted by Tim | November 6, 2015, 6:03 pm
              • So you would have no qualms about a young person choosing Catholicism fr example over your Young Earth Creationism an you would assure him /her that her soul was assured and it mattered not she thought your belief in dinosaurs and human co existing was rather silly?
                You would still give him her your blessing, knowing they would be be following Jesus?

                Posted by Arkenaten | November 6, 2015, 6:26 pm
                • I would have no issues with a young Christian accepting an old-earth. The Bible says in the youth of our faith we drink milk, but as we grown up in the faith we should start to eat solid food. I consider the issue of origins part of that solid food. If I meet Christians who have been Christians for multiple decades and believe in an old-earth, I will challenge them. I still won’t necessarily question their salvation, but salvation is only step one of a life of real discipleship.

                  Posted by Tim | November 6, 2015, 6:33 pm
                  • So how then is there a problem with reading the bible in context? As this was what the original thread was about.

                    Posted by Arkenaten | November 6, 2015, 6:40 pm
                    • There is not a problem with reading the Bible in context, problems arise when it is read out of context. Perhaps that’s what you meant?

                      Yes, there are many people who come to Christianity because of warm fuzzy feelings and stories of love and acceptance. It is known that a large percentage of those leave the faith when things get hard. When you take the happy stories of the Bible and ignore the hard stories, you get a false sense of your faith – and that faith crumbles when tested. But when you have a complete story of pain and suffering alongside faith and love – then you have a better chance of persevering. And YEC is key to understanding pain and suffering in our world.

                      Posted by Tim | November 6, 2015, 6:43 pm
      • >”I believe my interpretation is the only interpretation that does not create any contradictions later on in the text.”

        Very interesting. In my case, as with so many of my seminary professor colleagues, it was the many contradictions in Young Earth Creationist interpretations of the Bible which helped lead to my abandoning my teaching ministry within the “creation science” movement (in the 1970’s) and which eventually led me to realize that an old earth interpretation best fit BOTH the scriptural evidence of the Biblical text and the scientific evidence within creation itself. I had long been frustrated by the contradictions my young earth view created within the Bible (and especially in Genesis) and it was a great relief and confirmation to realize from my study of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures that I could honestly praise God for the clear harmony between science and the scriptures, something I was never able to do as a Young Earth Creationist.

        Yet, as for Arkenaten wondering “How would a young/new convert know?”, there are lots of things a new convert doesn’t know. But we would expect that. Nobody should expect a novice to know everything, especially about details which are not central to the truth of the Gospel message. Moreover, even the experienced Christ-follower who has read the Bible for many years can appreciate what the very learned Apostle Paul said about the mysteries of God: “We see through a glass but darkly.” We would EXPECT the things of an omniscient God, YHWH of the Bible, the creator of an entire universe, to involve much that is hard to understand and much that our finite humanness will NEVER allow us to understand. Unlike the Mormon, who believes he/she will someday in the future become a god, the Christ-follower knows that we will never be deities and there will always be much that we do not know—and therefore, it logically follows that we can also expect other, equally-sincere Christ-followers to have different beliefs and uncertainties.

        Accordingly, and frankly, if everything about the Bible was 100% clear to me and every Christian in the world held the very same beliefs and opinions about the Bible, I would strongly question how the Bible could possibly be inspired by an omniscient God who is far greater than us.

        Also, after a lifetime in the scriptures, I’m far more focused upon the much that I *do* know, not what a novice Christ-follower doesn’t know.

        Posted by Bible & Science Forum: Professor Tertius | November 8, 2015, 1:29 am
        • Can you name **one** contradiction within scripture that you believe YEC causes? Thanks.

          Posted by Tim | November 11, 2015, 9:26 pm
          • Yes. According to Ken Ham Genesis 8:22 rules OUT catastrophic global warming/climate change but rules IN a ‘rapid ice age’. He cannot have it both ways. Nor can you. He’s making the verse contradict itself in effect.
            https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/11/11/antarctic-ice-sheets-not-melting-due-climate-change/

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | November 12, 2015, 6:49 am
            • No, the verse states that there will be times of “cold and heat”, just that it won’t result in the end of all things. And the ice age did not end all things. I would agree with Ham’s assessment of that verse.

              Posted by Tim | November 12, 2015, 2:11 pm
              • The verse states (GOD’S words we are told): “While the earth remains,
                Seedtime and harvest,
                Cold and heat,
                Winter and summer,
                And day and night
                Shall not cease”.
                I never said that either a ‘rapid ice age’ or catastrophic global warming would ‘end all things’. Like I said the verse – if it is to be believed – implies that after the Genesis Flood the climate would be ‘normal’ and that harvests would not fail on a large-scale or become non-existent. But an ice age or 5 C of world warming would likely do just that (though the latter is preventable). Ken Ham claims that God then, despite HIS own words at Genesis 8:22, sent an ‘ice age’. But he also claims that God would NOT allow dangerous ie man-caused global warming (which is UNDERWAY as I speak) because of Earth’s ‘perfect’ atmosphere (carbon dioxide has risen from 280 ppm to 400 ppm – FACT). Ken Ham cannot have it both ways. What does God think about Ham misusing HIS words for Ham’s agenda. More evidence that YEC-ism is a sect or cult and not mainstream Christianity.
                Ham has NEVER to my knowledge explained how the verse can be reconciled with his (fictional) post-Flood ice age. He ONLY uses it to rubbish dangerous and man-caused global warming.

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | November 12, 2015, 10:22 pm
                • No, the verse does not state that things will remain the same day in day out – I believe you are reading too much into it. You are interpreting it as such. It could also just as easily be interpreted that there will be times of cold (an ice age) and times of heat (global warming). I don’t see a problem.

                  Posted by Tim | November 12, 2015, 10:33 pm
                  • Tim replies “No, the verse does not state that things will remain the same day in day out “. I did not say that it did (that would imply no seasons or no longer term climate variations such as the mediaeval warm period or the little ice age). I wrote that the verse “implies that after the Genesis Flood the climate would be ‘normal’ and that harvests would not fail on a large-scale or become non-existent”. But an ice age (5 C colder than at the start of the Industrial Revolution) or catastrophic global warming (4 C warmer than now as at the time dinosaurs lived) both surely would interfere greatly with harvests. God promised in effect that neither of these would occur after the flood judgment. SOME climate change has occurred since the verse was written down. But neither an ice age nor catastrophic global warming. However, if we do NOTHING about emissions now – as Ken Ham (who falsely claims to ‘love science’) is apparently advocating even though he is not a politician – then 5 C of warming over pre-industrial levels could occur by the end of this century with no way back and the absolute necessity that humanity must adapt or starve. This could ‘end all things’. But it does NOT need to happen because the problem has been identified and solutions are possible if we act now.
                    “It could also just as easily be interpreted that there will be times of cold (an ice age) and times of heat (global warming).” No it couldn’t. NOT 5 C of cooling (as claimed by Ken Ham ie real past ice ages wrongly dated) nor 5 C of warming (however caused – and we KNOW the main cause of the 1 C warming already experienced). The verse implies little drastic future change of Earth’s climate. If the verse is true, Christians should accept the REAL date of past ice ages (before Genesis was ever written) and support measures to prevent a further 4 C of world warming caused by the anthropogenic greenhouse effect and the problems that would bring.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | November 13, 2015, 7:35 pm
                    • You are still just parading YOUR interpretation of the verse(s) in question. There was still a harvest (of sorts) during the supposed ice age following the flood or else they would have starved to death and we wouldn’t be here. Even during Joseph’s time there was a famine in the land, but still a harvest – just a weaker harvest. And now you are just repeating yourself, so if you have nothing more to add… are we done?

                      Posted by Tim | November 13, 2015, 7:40 pm
  2. Ah, I initially thought the comments had not posted but now I see you are deleting them.
    Well done.
    Another moral coward who cherry picks and won’t allow genuine discourse if it makes him feel uncomfortable.
    Indoctrination has really done a number on you, Tim.

    Posted by Arkenaten | November 7, 2015, 11:44 am
    • No, I allow through comments that add to the conversation. Unfortunately many times those who choose to engage creationists just end up repeating themselves on their original point instead of following the conversation. I find that back and forth boring and time-wasting.

      Posted by Tim | November 7, 2015, 2:03 pm
      • Really? Well that strikes me as hand waving and somewhat defensive. But it’s your blog, so if you wish to merely write in an what effectively amounts to an echo chamber, so be it, Tim.

        Posted by Arkenaten | November 7, 2015, 2:57 pm
        • Well, if you think about what I said I’m actually trying to avoid echo chambers. I’m saying you ask a question, I answer it, you re-ask the same question. That’s an echo chamber. So no, I don’t repost the same comment.

          Posted by Tim | November 7, 2015, 3:17 pm
          • In one comment I made mention of the hypocrisy that is evident in your approach to a young person adopting Catholicism, especially in light of the comment I mentioned from another YEC who stated that, such a believer would be destined for Hell(sic). I don’t think it was posted?

            You continue to avoid the central question.

            If there is disagreement, even among the ranks of your own sect, then how is the new convert expected to understand correct contextual exegesis when you lot cannot find agreement amongst yourselves?

            That is the core question you need to answer and so far you have not.

            Posted by Arkenaten | November 7, 2015, 3:27 pm
            • Yes, you are repeating yourself – and the question HAS been answered. I am only posting this last comment to point that out. I answered how you tell the difference when I talked about comparing your interpretations to the whole of scripture and making sure it creates no contradictions.

              Posted by Tim | November 7, 2015, 3:40 pm
  3. “There was still a harvest (of sorts) during the supposed ice age following the flood or else they would have starved to death and we wouldn’t be here.” There has NOT been an ‘ice age’ during the past 5,000 years. It’s total fiction. It’s the invention of young earth creationist apologists. The last real glaciation, which lasted around 100,000 years, ended more than 10,000 years ago (ice cores among other things reveal this). OK I will accept that the small human and pre-human populations during past ice ages (Pleistocene) clearly did not all go extinct (the equator would still have been temperate) so some kind of limited natural ‘harvest’ (farming had not yet been ‘invented’ at THAT time) must have occurred.

    But Ken Ham cannot have things both ways. Either this verse by its wording would rule out 5 C of warming AND 5 C of cooling or it – somehow – allows for both possibilities (Ken Ham virtually calling God a ‘liar’ by insisting on ONE of the two).

    Of course the concepts of ice ages and a runaway greenhouse effect were NOT KNOWN by humanity when Genesis was written.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | November 13, 2015, 7:56 pm
    • Because you believe there was no ice age in the last 5000 years doesn’t make that a fact. I fully understand that the majority of scientists agree there was not an ice age in the last 5000 years. That STILL doesn’t make that a fact. Even if there was an ice age as creationists claim, you are saying the Genesis verse doesn’t allow for it and I have now shown how that is not the case. The verse does not rule out the ice age, YOUR interpretation of the verse rules it out to you.

      Posted by Tim | November 13, 2015, 8:03 pm

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