• Announcements

    • Nemesis

      Contact Us Broken   09/27/2016

      Users, It has come to our attention that the contact us feature on the site is broken.  Please do not use this feature to contact board admins.  Please go through normal channels.  If you are ignored there then assume your request was denied. Also if you try to email us that email address is pretty much ignored.  Also don't contact us to complain, ask for favors, donations, or any other thing that you may think would annoy us.  Nemesis

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Bill "Papa" Lee

The Bible and

227 posts in this topic

Hi PaPa,

While you're correct that I don't particularly think Abraham was a historical person or that the Exodus/Joshua narrative occurred as reported in the Old Testament, there was more to my apostasy than just that. The following factors all contributed:

1) I came to the conclusion that many biblical texts were mythical and/or pseudepigraphal, including not only Genesis, Exodus, and Joshua, but also Deuteronomy, Daniel, and the Pastoral Epistles.

2) I became increasingly disturbed by biblical teachings that I believe are immoral, including animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, genocide, sexism, arbitrary smiting, etc.

3) I became increasingly distressed by the narrow-mindedness of my religious community, which was committed not only to creationism, sexism, and heternormativity, but also to a militaristic Republican political agenda.

4) I came to reject the idea that God saves or damns people based on their religious beliefs, which I consider cruel and unfair.

I might have been able to reconcile myself to all that if not for number 5, the real dealbreaker:

5) I began to question the life and teachings of Jesus. How do we know Jesus wasn't just as bad as any modern cult leader? The Jesus of John's Gospel comes across as extremely narcissistic. Jesus did not return in "this generation" as he said he would. Atonement theology is nonsensical. And so on.

I don't expect anyone else to find all of this persuasive. For me, it was a process that took years, and I fought and clawed against it the whole way. Finally, though, there was just such a critical mass of problems that I couldn't live with it anymore. It was a relief to finally let go, even though I look back fondly on some things I miss about it.

Peace,

-Chris

Moses was real my fav is golden calf and i believe abraham was as well possibly his story is represented metaphorically in the holy land... also... incubator babies think about it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What? It was an allegory? Man, I totally missed that!

On a somewhat related note, I couldn't help but notice that your avatar is a chimpanzee. As I'm sure you're well aware, chimps are often very unkind to one another. In fact, I'd say that the things animals do to each other are generally far worse than the things people do to animals. Male tigers, for example, will typically kill the cubs of females they encounter (and sometimes even their own cubs). They do this neither for food nor as an offering to the tiger gods. Having watched my (former) cat literally torture mice to death, mocking them all the while, I have to wonder how, exactly, such behavior is "evil". Why did God make so many carnivores?

"It is the circle of life and it moves us all" - simba also incubator babies think about it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite EV posters is no longer an EV

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They do this neither for food nor as an offering to the tiger gods. Having watched my (former) cat literally torture mice to death, mocking them all the while, I have to wonder how, exactly, such behavior is "evil".

You just don't want to admit that your cat is a sadistic monster.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I appreciate your post. I can certainly sympathize with alternative interpretations of the atonement, such as the view that Christ is a moral example to be followed. However, that view fails to explain why his moral example should be any more significant or compelling than other philosophers and martyrs who suffered as much. As for healing, the symbolism of the atonement doesn't really seem to me to have anything to do with that. (Though if you experience it as such, I certainly don't mean to diminish that experience.)

As for the incarnation, that is the Christian doctrine I find most compelling. Again, though, I have difficulty understanding why Christ should have been the only incarnation of God in all human history. A more compelling model would be one such as Friedrich Schleiermacher's in his Speeches on Religion, where God becomes "incarnate" in mediator figures in every place and period of history, and can become incarnate as well in all of us if we get in touch with the divine light within ourselves.

For what it is worth, I think Christianity has elements in it that can be very satisfying to the soul and heart and mind--a way of understanding God and Creation that gives order and purpose to life. And it has for thousands of years to millions of people. But the same is true of Islam and Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and many other faith (and non-faith) traditions. All of those faith and nonfaith traditions are plausible under certain types of analysis and I personally believe that God (whoever or whatever God is) is pleased and works through and influences people in all of them. Part of life is striving to come to a spiritual and emotional equilibrium and a connection with things, people, or concepts outside ourself, including (for many of us) the Numinous.

Mormon Christianity is my "home religion", it is a predominant lense through which I see and experience life. To paraphrase Neal Maxwell, in striving to understand life and alternative faith and nonfaith world views and peoples, my passport remains with my "home religion." The message I take from the Joseph Smith narrative of the First Vision is that if we ask God, God will provide guidance of some sort as to what we should do. Where I differ from most of my co-religionists is that I don't think God, in answer to prayer, guides everyone to Mormonism (at least in mortality--I am open to that possibility in the hereafter).

I know you are an openminded seeker and what I hear you saying is that Christianity or the form of Christianity that had been your home religion no longer is sufficiently plausible to you to be a "home religion" or worldview, and that every alternative construction of Christianity you know of does not satisfy either.

I do believe God is with you (even incarnate in you in some sense or certainly connected and assisting), and I wish you the very best on the path on which your heart, soul, mind and God takes you. And I am glad to be a friend and admirer of yours.

Inshallah.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just don't want to admit that your cat is a sadistic monster.

I think she learned it from the raccoons, who used to rough her up on a regular basis.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just don't want to admit that your cat is a sadistic monster.

They all are.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For what it is worth, I think Christianity has elements in it that can be very satisfying to the soul and heart and mind--a way of understanding God and Creation that gives order and purpose to life. And it has for thousands of years to millions of people. But the same is true of Islam and Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and many other faith (and non-faith) traditions. All of those faith and nonfaith traditions are plausible under certain types of analysis and I personally believe that God (whoever or whatever God is) is pleased and works through and influences people in all of them. Part of life is striving to come to a spiritual and emotional equilibrium and a connection with things, people, or concepts outside ourself, including (for many of us) the Numinous.

...

I do believe God is with you (even incarnate in you in some sense or certainly connected and assisting), and I wish you the very best on the path on which your heart, soul, mind and God takes you. And I am glad to be a friend and admirer of yours.

Thank you, daz. I agree with what you said, and I, too, am pleased to be your friend and admirer. BTW, I think you might find this interesting and thought-provoking. Jason is a friend of mine and it sounds as though you might be kindred spirits.

Peace,

-Chris

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The witnesses to the plates can at most corroborate Joseph's claim to possess metallic plates of some kind. They cannot corroborate anything about the Book of Mormon, because they could tell us nothing about what if anything might have been written on the plates.

Which is to ignore large portions of their witness.

THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

Oliver Cowdery

David Whitmer

Martin Harris

THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

Christian Whitmer

Jacob Whitmer

Peter Whitmer, Jun

John Whitmer

Hiram Page

Joseph Smith, Sen

Hyrum Smith

Samuel H. Smith

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vance,

The witnesses testified that they saw the plates and observed that there were engravings on them. But they didn't know what the engravings said. The eight could only testify that the engravings and plates looked old and of curious workmanship. I grant that the testimony of the three witnesses asserts that they knew that God inspired the translation because his "voice" told them so. That is the only element of the testimonies, taking everything they say at face value, that would support Joseph's claim that the plates contained the Book of Mormon. So that leaves out the eight witnesses altogether on this point. So much for my view ignoring "large portions of their witness."

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mortal Man,

You wrote:

What do you do with the fact that Paul, despite his 15-day stay with Peter, never mentioned the empty tomb, wounds in the hands and feet, eating of fish or any other bodily act of the risen Jesus?

I view these observations of what Paul doesn't mention as fallacious arguments from silence. Paul doesn't mention these things because Paul was not writing a narrative of the resurrection events.

You wrote:

What do you do with Paul's repeated statements in 1 Corinthians 15 that the resurrection is purely spiritual, not physical? Jesus showing his wounds to the apostles flies in the face of Paul's teachings that the "perishable/corruptible body" must be "sown" so that the spirit may be "raised an imperishable body" and that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God".

Not so. "Spiritual" stands in contrast not to "physical" (as the NRSV and NWT mistranslate psuchikos in 1 Corinthians 15:44) but to "natural," a term the NT elsewhere uses to mean materialistic or sensual, not material in the sense of being physical. See my book Sense and Nonsense about Heaven and Hell, pages 70-79, for a discussion of 1 Corinthians 15. See also N. T. Wright's book The Resurrection of the Son of God or Anthony Thiselton's commentary on 1 Corinthians, to name just two of the many good academic studies dealing with this question.

You wrote:

The empty tomb was invented as a symbol of the resurrection ~6 years after Paul's death. Matthew, Luke and John then ran wild with it, taking the story in radically different directions.

There's a whole lot of assumin' going on in this claim. I take it you claim that Mark invented the empty tomb as a symbol ca. AD 72. I don't see any evidence to support that claim. Mark seems to think the empty tomb was a literal fact; so do the other three Gospel writers. Did they fail to get the secret decoder ring that would reveal to them that the empty tomb was merely a symbol? And in Jewish thought, an empty tomb was not a symbol of resurrection: it was a sign of resurrection, something that would naturally enough be expected if the occupant of the tomb had risen from the dead.

You wrote:

Paul and a few anonymous writers claiming there were lots of witnesses does not mean there were lots of witnesses.

Virtually all historians agree that the number of witnesses who reported having experiences that they understood to be encounters with the risen Jesus was close to twenty or more (the eleven disciples, at least a few women, probably James the Lord's brother, perhaps others).

You wrote:

The numerous first-hand witnesses to the Gold Plates, who never denied their testimonies, do indeed stand in stark contrast to the zero witnesses, first-hand or otherwise, to Jesus rising from the tomb.

A carefully crafted comparison of apples and oranges. Just how many witnesses testified that they saw Joseph dig up the plates? How many were present at the First Vision? How many were present when Joseph returned the plates to Moroni?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris Smith

Ritual slaughter is more reprehensible to me because of what it implies about God than because of what it does to the animals.

Chris, what moral standard do you appeal to, to deem this (or any conduct) reprehensible?

From what moral framework are you working from?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris, what moral standard do you appeal to, to deem this (or any conduct) reprehensible?

From what moral framework are you working from?

Utilitarianism.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My view is, G-d has such compassion for His creatures that their meager gifts, which He hardly needs, He accepts as though they were of value. He values us and is compassionate of our feelings. He values our happiness. He knows it makes us happy to serve Him. He can even take our service to Ba'al, if He chooses, or Mammon, and convert it into service to Him.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vance,

The witnesses testified that they saw the plates and observed that there were engravings on them. But they didn't know what the engravings said. The eight could only testify that the engravings and plates looked old and of curious workmanship. I grant that the testimony of the three witnesses asserts that they knew that God inspired the translation because his "voice" told them so. That is the only element of the testimonies, taking everything they say at face value, that would support Joseph's claim that the plates contained the Book of Mormon. So that leaves out the eight witnesses altogether on this point. So much for my view ignoring "large portions of their witness."

So, you don't think that three people hearing the voice of God testifying that the plates "have been translated by the gift and power of God" is a major portion of their testimony.

Sorry, but I disagree. If I heard the voice of God making that declaration it would carry far more import than seeing the plates and the engravings.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Papa,

As a somewhat liberal Evangelical, I would say that if we somehow nixed your points 1-3, Christianity would still be in the game.

By that I mean, one could look at Jacob, Moses and Abraham with an arms length view. The Christian hope rest distinctly upon the shoulders of only one person. Him being Christ Jesus.

Nothing against Chris personally on the issue. I love the guy. I doubt he would take offense that I hope that Christ will make himself known to him in a personal and meaningful way.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

When we accept Christ we become the "seed of Abraham" and heirs according to his promises. If there were no Abraham...then we are all wasting our time. If we are doing so already.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. My faith didn't really fall apart until I decided the atonement and the deity of Christ no longer made any sense to me. At that point, I no longer really had any basis to participate in evangelical worship.

Could you expand on this?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris,

I would also argue that the evidence is rather clear that the tomb was empty

The New Testament gives a plausible alternative as to why the tomb was empty. Why not hold to that one verses the other? It all comes down (at least for the EV) which one do I chose to believe? For LDS we are constantly asked to go to the source of all truth; God. EV

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They all are.

;):P

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris,

Mike Licona's book, which I cited earlier, examines the "visionary experience" explanation quite thoroughly and shows that it simply does not hold up. Such an explanation does not account for the fact that the witnesses included both men and women; individuals and groups; skeptical family members, devoted friends, and at least one antagonistic opponent of the movement (Paul). The diversity of witnesses to the Resurrection stands in stark contrast to the list of witnesses to the Book of Mormon, a group of a dozen men drawn almost entirely from two families (one of them Joseph's).

So your faith is based on the number of people saying they witnessed Christ? How many would you need for the BoM

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All Christians believe that Old Testament rites and ceremonies pointed to Christ (and that those who really understood the Prophets looked foreward to a Messiah), but one thing I don't understand about The Book of Mormon is that the Nephites and Lamanites (right from the begining, 600 years before Christ) seem to have had things spelled out so much more clearly than the Old World Jews did in their scriptures.

I often come upon the word "church" and wonder what it means.

Stephan (the first Christian martyr) spoke of "the church in the wilderness," and I'm sure there are Old Testament words that could be translated "church," but are more often translated "assembly," or "congregation."

Still, what does the word "church" (as used in the ealier portions of the Book of Mormon) mean?

Does it always mean the community of the faithful, entered thru baptism and repentance?

If so, why is baptism (as an initiation ritr) never mentioned in the Torah?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pa Pa,

You asked:

So your faith is based on the number of people saying they witnessed Christ?

No. I didn't say any such thing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pa Pa,

You asked:

No. I didn't say any such thing.

I think Papa is getting you confused with Hughes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The diversity of witnesses to the Resurrection stands in stark contrast to the list of witnesses to the Book of Mormon, a group of a dozen men drawn almost entirely from two families (one of them Joseph's).

I don't think this is an expression of reality.

We have authors (supposedly) of New Testament books;

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, Jude.

That is 8 MEN, ZERO women.

How many of those 8 claimed to be witnesses of the resurrection?

How many of those were related?

The list of actual first hand (NT) witnesses of the resurrection are less than those of the Book of Mormon.

All other possible witnesses are nothing more than hearsay witnesses.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pa Pa,

You asked:

No. I didn't say any such thing.

Then way the comparison, with how many witnesses and where they came from

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.