The Political Left’s military philosophy explained in three panels

Pearls Before Swine, copyright Stephan Pastis

Pearls Before Swine,  Copyright Stephan Pastis

Appeasement has never fostered peace.

Comments

  1. Yes, indeed! As a representative of the political left I can assure you that the above comic does represent my military and diplomatic policy.

    Jesus himself expressed the leftist military philosophy:
    You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A43-48&version=NIV

    Jesus, the world’s most famous liberal pacifist, said this as well:
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39″But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
    http://biblehub.com/matthew/5-39.htm

    Of course, American Christians don’t love Jesus, would never associate with that liberal, and they would quickly nail such a man to a cross if they ever happened to encounter him. Thankfully the Constitution forbids such political and religious persecution of liberals today.

    Christians love Rome and celebrate the power of Pilate. Christians love the military and would support Titus as he destroyed Jerusalem.

    Christianity is, incidentally, the most violent religion ever to inflict itself upon humankind. Christians love warfare and have committed genocide and enslaved humans for thousands of years. It is no coincidence that a Christian nation committed the Holocaust nor is it a coincidence that a Christian nation dropped nuclear bombs on children.

    Hey, Christian: Why don’t you follow Jesus?

  2. Hello John,

    Now we have an opportunity to discuss the Bible. Thank God!

    Jesus was such a liberal pacifist that he said to Peter:
    “Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
    http://biblehub.com/john/18.htm

    Needless to say, such a liberal deserves nothing more than to hang from a tree!
    http://biblehub.com/galatians/3-13.htm

    Thank God that modern Christians aren’t followers of Jesus. They’ve spent billions of dollars on guns, bombs, nuclear missiles and aircraft carriers. These toys aren’t designed for peace-loving liberals nor for semi-Divine pacifists standing up against an oppressive colonial empire.

    American Christians love Pilate and hate Jesus. American Christians love their guns and they hate peace. So, Christian, do you really love Jesus?

  3. You say: “Peter was trying to interrupt Jesus’ inevitable trek to the cross for the salvation of man. This has nothing to do with pacifism.”

    Really?

    Are you suggesting that Jesus did not say “love your enemies” and “bless those who curse you” and “turn the other cheek”?

    If you are saying that, well … it is quite possible that you are correct. The gospels aren’t at all reliable as history. Doubtless much of what is attributed to Jesus in the New Testament wasn’t said by Jesus at all. It is quite possible that the anonymous authors of the gospels were glorifying their hero by attributing a near-divine level of virtue to him which he couldn’t possibly possess.

    Such things happen.

    It is quite possible that Jesus told Peter to keep a sword because Jesus himself was plotting to commit an act of violence, rebellion and warfare against the Roman empire and its Jewish accomplices in Jerusalem. If that is the case, Jesus’ didn’t die innocently and the cross was a legal punishment for his crime.

    If that is what you believe please say so. Clarifications of this sort can help resolve our disagreement.

    Was Jesus a liberal pacifist or was he a violent zealot rebel?

  4. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Jesus was the same pacifist that told his disciples that if they didnt have a sword that they should buy one.

    David rightly confronted your misuse of this passage by putting it back in context. Jesus was NOT – in context – telling his disciples to arm themselves for fighting. We can see the truth of this in at least two ways:

    1. When the disciples looked amongst themselves and said, “look, we have ONE sword…” Jesus said, “that’ll do…” ONE sword for Jesus’ “army” of followers would not be for the purpose of defense. Indeed, Jesus explained why the sword was necessary: So that he would be counted amongst the rebels…

    2. When Peter actually tried to USE the sword in self-defense/violence, Jesus SPECIFICALLY told him to “put that sword away. Those who live by the sword, die by it!”

    You can’t read the story in context and come away with a reading that says Jesus was advocating the arming of his followers for use in violence. That is a reading into the text something that is not there.

    ~Dan

  5. paynehollow says:

    Does ancient Israel’s history mean that everything condoned for Israel is good or moral for us?

    Polygamy was accepted and part of the culture then, is it now?

    Kidnapping the orphaned girls of the dead enemy and making them your wife was accepted (commanded!) then, is it now?

    Wiping out all the enemy, including the infants, was accepted and commanded then, is it good now?

    They required farmers to set aside part of their land for poor and foreigners, they had no concept of “illegal aliens,” they killed those caught in adultery and disrespectful children and those who worked on Saturdays… are you endorsing all these behaviors?

    No, I do not find it compelling for modern morality that there are stories in ancient Israel’s history that show a variety of behaviors being accepted and even encouraged. Do you? (And John, here is a place that would be helpful for you to answer the questions being asked, rather than just ignoring them, as they are salient to the point YOU raised…)

    ~Dan

  6. paynehollow says:

    Okay, so God said to ancient Israel, “Go in and wipe out all the enemy. Kill their babies and children. But spare the virgin girls and take them home to be your wives…”

    Question: Do you think that represents a good moral model for us to follow today? Do you think if someone “hears” God tells them to kill the babies of their enemy, but spare the virgin daughter and make her your “wife,” and they do that, do you think that is insane or moral?

    I think it is insane and immoral. You?

    ~Dan

  7. Dan, I’ve asked this question before, in numerous ways, asking for the basis for the prohibition of taking human life. Considering how awfully thorough you always are in answering questions, I’m surprised to find that I don’t think you’ve ever answered this one satisfactorily.

    To whom do you belong? Do you belong to yourself, such that it’s wrong even for God to take your life? Or do you belong to God, such that it’s permissible for God to take your life whenever and however He chooses?

    To ask it another way:

    Do you believe God prohibited murder because taking human life is absolutely immoral EVEN for Himself, or because it’s His prerogative and not ours?

    An even more important question focuses on what the Bible says rather than on what either of us happen to believe. The Bible is clear why murder is wrong, and it’s clear from when the prohibition was first made explicit, in Genesis 9:6, both in the prohibition’s rationale AND the prescribed punishment. But first things first.

    I do hope you answer my question, because one cannot hope to build a moral conception of war if one begins with an incorrect conception of the moral questions revolving around the taking of human life.

  8. paynehollow says:

    John, I DO NOT think God is insane and immoral. I did not say that. Don’t misrepresent my words, THAT is wrong.

    I said that people who think God is commanding them to kill babies are crazy and immoral.

    DO you disagree with that assessment?

    DO you think it is good to have concubines today? To kill our enemies AND their babies today? To kidnap the orphaned virgin girls of our slaughtered enemies and force them to marry us (ie, rape them) TODAY?

    IF you think that, you really have no grounds to call me a heretic. Other than just being generally crazy.

    The thing is, YOU almost certainly do NOT think that these are moral behaviors today. THAT was my point, that you and I agree that these are crazy and immoral behaviors.

    Am I mistaken?

    ~Dan

  9. paynehollow says:

    If John is okay with going down this road, Bubba asked…

    Do you believe God prohibited murder because taking human life is absolutely immoral EVEN for Himself, or because it’s His prerogative and not ours?

    As I have said repeatedly before, I think God is God and God can do anything.

    I also think that God will not command us to do evil.

    I think, therefore, that God won’t command us to kill babies or to rape/forcibly marry the orphaned girls of the enemy we just slaughtered.

    I answered your question, now answer mine:

    Do YOU think God might command us to kill babies and rape girls?

    Do YOU think that God might command us to do evil things like infanticide or rape?

    ~Dan

  10. paynehollow says:

    John…

    So then you don’t think the bible is the word of God, still makes you a heretic.

    And the dodging of the direct questions begins.

    Instead of asking reasonable questions, you instead make a false charge – something that I have not said and do not believe.

    Do you see how that actually undermines your credibility, John?

    Thou shalt not bear false witness, it is wrong.

    And thou shalt answer reasonable questions, if you want to be taken seriously and support your arguments.

    ~Dan

    • No dodging. The bible says God commanded Israel to do certain things, things you say are immoral. You either don’t believe the bible is the inspired word of God or you think God is immoral and evil.

      Or you could just say that the text is all just pretend and no one really believes that God really mean it. All of the above makes your status as a Christian suspect, or heretical.

  11. (How does Dan know that bearing false witness is wrong? It can’t be just because the Bible says so, because he believes that other commands in the same book are literally atrocious.)

    Dan, you didn’t answer my question.

    You’re focusing on particular means rather than the general end. The question of whether God can command humans to take human life is further down the road: let’s focus on the more fundamental question.

    Is it morally permissible for God to take human life, APART from any consideration of means?

    If commanding man to take life bothers you, limit the scenario to death by natural or supernatural causes: lightning strikes, cancer, boulders falling from the sky, or being turned into a pillar of salt.

    Can God Himself take the life of a human being that He created? Why or why not?

  12. Heartily Disagree, as a 20 year veteran of the Military and a 50+ year veteran of the war against socialism this cartoon does not reflect the left’s idea of the military. The left will use the flowers and heartfelt apologies idealism when someone else has control of the military, however when THEY are in charge it’s a stage show Stalin would applaud and Obama is following the same playbook Clinton, Carter, and LBJ perfected.

    First they purge every officer that disagrees with the left out of the military until each unit is run by incompetent political meat puppets, then they slash funding and cut weapons programs in favor of their own vote buying social nonsense. Next comes social engineering the military into a liberal cesspool of leftist nonsense, followed by overcommitting the military into fighting in every malaria infested mudhole and wotheless meaningless pile of dust just to please political whims. In the end the only repair is a long expensive rebuilding campaign staged by a Constitutionally responsible conservative government

  13. paynehollow says:

    John…

    No dodging.

    Questions related to your comment have been asked and ignored. That IS dodging. It is ignoring questions salient to your point. The questions are raised because there are holes in your argument. If you can answer them, maybe you can demonstrate that there are not actually holes, but some reasonable, rational explanation. But if you DON’T answer, them, well, you’re left with an irrational argument with holes in your reasoning.

    Yes, dodging.

    John…

    The bible says God commanded Israel to do certain things, things you say are immoral.

    John, I believe killing babies is immoral. I believe forced marriages (ie, rape) are immoral. YOU DO, TOO, I am almost certain that you agree with me.

    Am I mistaken? Do you advocate infanticide and child rape?

    John…

    You either…

    1. don’t believe the bible is the inspired word of God or
    2. you think God is immoral and evil.

    I inserted your options as TWO separate options for clarity. That would be two possibilities, but there are not only two possibilities.

    It could be that I think that some of the texts you speak of are written in a particular style – epic storytelling, for instance. Identifying the styles of biblical text and understanding them IN CONTEXT of the style they were written in is essential for good understanding. You can’t read hyperbole as if it were a legal commandment and come away with rational conclusions.

    Thus,

    1. I DO believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God
    2. I DO think it is important to take texts in context and reasonably
    3. I don’t think God is immoral or evil.

    Do you rightly understand my actual position now and where you made your error in judgment? Can you address the reasonable questions being asked of you, the ones that point to holes in your arguments?

    If not, why not?

    ~Dan

    • I understand your position to be that every passage which doesn’t depict God as a peacenick hippy flower love child you call it an epic or hyperbole or metaphor. Your hermeneutic is deeply self serving and flawed.

  14. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    Is it morally permissible for God to take human life, APART from any consideration of means?

    I DID answer your question. I said God can do whatever God wants. Thus, God CAN take a human life, God CAN rub his belly and pat his head, God can strike you with lightning for bearing false witness and for being belligerent.

    On the other hand, God can’t/won’t do something that is not in God’s character. And commanding us to do evil is NOT in God’s character.

    DO YOU DISAGREE?

    (And I will answer no further questions of yours until you answer mine, just to be fair and rational.)

    ~Dan

  15. paynehollow says:

    So, your answer to my question, then, is “YES, if someone says that God has told them to kill and rape babies, that is a good and moral thing…”?

    Or are you saying, “YES, if God DOES command someone to rape and kill babies, that is a good thing… and sometimes, God may well do just that…”?

    Do you understand that most people will consider either of these to be a monstrous and hugely, crazily irrational answer?

  16. paynehollow says:

    John…

    I understand your position to be that every passage which doesn’t depict God as a peacenick hippy flower love child you call it an epic or hyperbole or metaphor. Your hermeneutic is deeply self serving and flawed.

    I have never described God as a peacenik hippy flower love child.

    What I DO try to to is understand aright the proper context and literature style that a text is written in.

    Do you think it is wrong to try to rightly ascertain what style a text is written in?

    I would assume that you can agree with me that this is a rationally and biblically sound thing to do. So, if we agree on that, where is my hermeneutic either “deeply self serving” or “flawed…”? What specific criteria for understanding text am I using that is self-serving or flawed?

    How is it self-serving? I don’t see how that makes any sense.

    Hoping for some direct answers…

    ~Dan

  17. Dan, you STILL haven’t answered my question, and it doesn’t appear that you even see what it is I’m trying to ask: I’m NOT asking about God commanding us to do X, but about God doing X Himself.

    To say that God “can” do whatever He wants but “can’t/wont” do what’s not in His nature is NO ANSWER AT ALL.

    To answer some of your questions:

    – Yes, I agree that God is restricted by His own nature: even what God could conceivably do in His omnipotence, He will not do if it violates, e.g., His holiness.

    – Yes, I agree that issuing commands to do evil is not in God’s nature.

    – Yes, therefore, I agree that God cannot issue commands to do evil.

    But your conclusions presume that taking life is evil in all circumstances, but WHY is taking life evil? The RATIONALE behind the prohibition may well reveal whether there are exceptions.

    I agree, generally and ceteris paribus, it is wrong to take the life of a human infant, but why is it wrong, Dan?

    I believe infanticide is generally wrong because the infant’s life belongs to God.

    Do YOU disagree?

    I get back to the question, to whom do you belong? Are you your own? Or are you God’s?

  18. paynehollow says:

    Thank you for the answers.

    I agree, generally and ceteris paribus, it is wrong to take the life of a human infant, but why is it wrong, Dan?

    It is self-evidently wrong to violate another’s right to life. It is wrong, as a matter of justice, to take someone’s life, to force sex upon another.

    Bubba…

    To say that God “can” do whatever He wants but “can’t/wont” do what’s not in His nature is NO ANSWER AT ALL.

    You are asking me what MY opinion is in reference to this question:

    Is it morally permissible for God to take human life, APART from any consideration of means?

    MY opinion is that God CAN do whatever God wants. God CAN take a life, if God wants, God CAN rape puppies, if God wants. God being an omnipotent God CAN do whatever God wants.

    BUT, my answer continues, God WILL NOT do that which is against God’s nature.

    Now, being mortal and fallible, who am I to say what God may or may not do on God’s own time? BUT, I say with some certainty, along with all of orthodox Christianity, that God will NOT command humans to do evil. God WILL NOT command us to rape or kill children. That IS MY ANSWER to your question, That IS MY opinion in regards to your question. You can not reasonably say, “That is no answer…” It IS my opinion, there IS NO OTHER ANSWER when you’re asking my opinion, other than what my opinion is.

    Bubba…

    I believe infanticide is generally wrong because the infant’s life belongs to God.

    Do YOU disagree?

    I agree that this is one reason that it is wrong, but not the only reason. Ultimately, on a human level, it is wrong because it is not our life to take, nor for us to decide which infant we can rape or kill. It is wrong because it is self-evidently wrong, because of the egregious crime against human life and liberty.

    Bubba…

    I get back to the question, to whom do you belong? Are you your own? Or are you God’s?

    I don’t know that God think of us as “God’s,” in the sense that we “belong” to God like a piece of chattel or furniture. We belong to God in the sense that we are God’s children, adopted and beloved by God, not “owned” like a slave, but “part of,” and “beloved by” God.

    Do you disagree? Do you think we are somehow literally “owned” by God, or is it better understood that we are loved by God, belonging to God’s beloved community as a member, not an asset? “Belonging WITH God, like family” not “belonging TO God, like chattel or slaves…”

    ~Dan

  19. paynehollow says:

    John…

    The problem is how you try to determine the genre. You method has nothing to do with literary style and everything to do with what you think God is like.

    And what specifically is wrong with how I determine the genre? Do you even know HOW I strive to determine genre?

    1. I read the text in context, taking into consideration the time and culture and language it was written in, to the best of my finite ability. What sort of literary styles and techniques were in use in the 1st century, AD? what sort of literary styles and techniques were in use and common in pre-historic/early historic times? What use of hyperbole and metaphor was common, if any?

    2. I read the text of the confusing and less clear though the lens of the more obvious and more clear.

    3. I read the whole of biblical text through the lens of the specific teachings of Jesus. I do this because I am a Christ-ian, a follower of Jesus. If I just read the text in light of Jewish thought, then I’d be a Jew, but I give emphasis to Jesus direct, clear teachings found in the gospels.

    For starters. That is not all of how I go about hermeneutics, but it’s a large part of it. Where SPECIFICALLY am I mistaken? Am I wrong to try to understand the writing styles common to the day? If so, what should we do instead? Am I wrong to take Jesus’ literal direct, clear teachings as a first line of criteria, by which to measure all other texts? If so, are you suggesting that the command to kill adulterers is on equal footing as Jesus’ command to the would-be stoners to put away their stones and let he who is without sin cast the first stone? Really?

    Where am I mistaken specifically? This is just common orthodox Christian hermeneutics and I would have to doubt that I’m using any other criteria than you would hopefully use.

    ~Dan

  20. Dan,

    You mention man’s “right to life,” but that right comes from the same place as that life: both come from God, and God is within HIS rights as our Creator to end the life He gives us and revoke that right to life.

    You write, “Ultimately, on a human level, it is wrong because it is not our life to take…”

    I wonder why you think the human level is the ultimate level, and if it’s not our life to take, whose is it?

    I don’t know that God think of us as ‘God’s,’ in the sense that we ‘belong’ to God like a piece of chattel or furniture. We belong to God in the sense that we are God’s children, adopted and beloved by God, not ‘owned’ like a slave, but “part of,” and “beloved by” God.

    A person who buys a piece of furniture didn’t make it, and even the carpenter who made a table didn’t cause the growth of the tree from which the table came, nor did he create the earth from which the tree grew.

    The Bible is clear that God created us ex nihilo, out of literally nothing, and that He sustains us and is LORD AND MASTER over the entire cosmos, including us. He commands our exclusive worship and our absolute devotion. Yes, he loves us, but His claim to ownership is FAR stronger than any claim we have over any physical object.

    Moreover — and much more importantly for those who seek to conform to the Bible’s clear teachings — the Bible clearly points to God’s ownership of us AND it points to His ownership being the reason for the immorality of murder.

    Genesis 9:6:

    Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

    Note that the passage also makes clear that the prohibition of taking human life CANNOT possibly be universal, since the punishment was TAKING HUMAN LIFE: if murder is a capital offense, it can’t ALWAYS be wrong to kill.

    God made man in His own image, and so He owns us — and that is even more clearly the implication in Christ’s own teachings.

    Matthew 22:20-21, where Jesus was asked about taxes, and He asked for a coin.

    And Jesus said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ 21 They said, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’

    We render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and the coin is his because it bears his image.

    We render to God what is God’s. What is God’s? What else but what bears His image?

    Where does the Bible DENY that we belong TO God and not just “with” God? Where does the Bible deny God’s sovereignty over us?

    It doesn’t.

    Dan, your speculations sound reasonable at first glance, but they’re not biblical.

  21. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You method has nothing to do with literary style and everything to do with what you think God is like.

    I would add, John, that striving to keep in mind “What is God like?” is not a bad criteria, in and of itself. Of course, we have sort of a chicken and egg sort of problem there. Is God as described in various OT texts, wanting us to kill the enemies – even their children and babes! – or is God a God of love, who would have us turn the other cheek and love our enemies, not kill them… as we see in both the OT and NT?

    This is why, for me, to start with the specific teachings of Jesus found in the Gospels, is a vital starting point. Jesus is God’s best explanation of what God is like. The better we can understand Jesus, the better we can understand God and God’s nature.

    Which is NOT to say that there are “two Gods” found in the Bible, the OT and the NT God. There is indeed, ONE God and Jesus is our best understanding of God. That is why we who follow Christ, follow Jesus, the Christ. He is God, revealed in human flesh.

    Many times, the religious zealots of the day THOUGHT they understood God, THOUGHT they were rightly interpreting their holy texts to say, “THIS is what God is like, what God wants… and God wants us to NOT work on Saturdays, and God wants us to put to death adulterers…” They THOUGHT they were looking at texts and making reasonable, fairly literal interpretations.

    But they were wrong. Jesus’ teachings and life repeatedly point that out. The answer was NOT in trying to literally follow OT texts, weighing each text as being equally important. The answer was in Grace, Love and Forgiveness – not violence, vengeance and retribution, which is taught throughout the Bible. If we rightly understand God’s nature, then we can better understand and interpret texts.

    Do you think that is unreasonable? If so, where specifically?

    ~Dan

    • But to find out what God is like entails culling from scripture. But you only utilize some scriptures to the exclusion of others. So you’ve decided that “God is love” is the filter rather than “God hates the wicked”. So everything that depicts God in an other-than-what-you-consider-loving way is the epic or hyperbole or metaphor. I’m saying you have not properly set your filter because it is giving you flawed interpretations.

  22. …and you STILL didn’t actually answer my question, at least not fully.

    To whom do you belong? Are you your own? Or are you God’s?

    The beginning of your tentative, very provisional answer is, “I don’t know that God think of us as ‘God’s’…”

    Okay, if not God’s, then whose? To whom do you belong?

  23. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    your speculations sound reasonable at first glance, but they’re not biblical.

    Thank you, I certainly agree with the first part of your comment above. But I disagree in thinking that my speculations are highly biblical.

    For instance, Paul tells the Galatians…

    So also we, when we were children, we were enslaved under the elemental spirits of the world.

    BUT when the fullness of time came, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that he might redeem those under the law, in order that we might receive the adoption. And because you are sons, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! (Father!),” so that you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir through God.

    We WERE property, this text says, but NOW, by God’s GRACE, we are family, specifically NOT property.

    Of course, this is all imagery, but I think the very best understanding of our relationship with God is NOT as “belonging TO, like property” but “belonging WITH, like family…” Rationally AND biblically speaking.

    So there, I think my position is both rational and biblical. You are free to think that “being owned” is the best way to describe your relationship to God. I shall continue to think “being loved and wanted” is the best way to describe my relationship with God.

    As to WHY murder or rape are wrong, I also think it is biblical – as well as rational – to say that it is simply self-evidently wrong to shed innocent blood. I could be mistaken, but I don’t believe the Bible tells us, “WHY specifically is it wrong to murder or rape…” do you think it does? Oh, I’m sure that there are passages you could point to and say, “Because God says ‘don’t do this…’ it’s wrong because God said so and for no other reason…” but that’s reading into the text something that isn’t there.

    ~Dan

  24. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    and you STILL didn’t actually answer my question, at least not fully.

    To whom do you belong? Are you your own? Or are you God’s?

    The beginning of your tentative, very provisional answer is, “I don’t know that God think of us as ‘God’s’…”

    Okay, if not God’s, then whose? To whom do you belong?

    You can’t ask my opinion about something and then, when I give you my opinion, say that opinion is not an answer to what my opinion is. It IS my opinion, that is my answer.

    To whom do I belong? In the sense of property, like a slave, I would say “No one, I belong to no one.” In the sense of family/community, I would say I belong to God, to my wife and children, I belong to my faith community and, to a lesser extent, my extended local community. In a sense, I belong, too, to the world community.

    THAT is my opinion to that question. Now, if you want to clarify more specifically what you mean by “belong,” I could answer it further, but I doubt that it would change that much.

    I do not believe human beings “belong” to any others, in the sense of belonging to, as a piece of property. I DO believe human beings all belong with each other, as a human family, and with God, as part of the Community of God. That is my answer, IF you want MY opinion, I have no other.

    ~Dan

    • I think, Dan, Bubba’s frustration is that you’re talking out both sides of your mouth. You say God can do whatever he wants. But on the other you give this list of things in the bjble that tell us what God said and did that you describe as immoral, then say God would never do that. So you’re operating on hypothetical that you never actualize.

  25. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    t to find out what God is like entails culling from scripture.

    Scripture, the world around us, God’s Word written upon our hearts and minds, our fellow human family… I think we learn about God in multiple ways. For the Bible tells me so.

    Do you disagree?

    Bubba…

    But you only utilize some scriptures to the exclusion of others. So you’ve decided that “God is love” is the filter rather than “God hates the wicked”.

    As I said to John, rightly understanding God’s nature (as best as we temporal, flawed human beings can) IS a stepping stone to understanding Scripture and morality.

    Do you disagree?

    So everything that depicts God in an other-than-what-you-consider-loving way is the epic or hyperbole or metaphor. I’m saying you have not properly set your filter because it is giving you flawed interpretations.

    So, what specifically have I gotten wrong? Am I WRONG to think that God is love? That God is a God of grace and justice and forgiveness? For these are my filters to understanding God and, by extension, biblical texts.

    What specifically is mistaken? Should I consider God a god of hatred and vengeance, instead of love, grace and forgiveness?

    Do YOU think God is primarily defined by God’s Love and Grace? Or do you think God is primarily a god of vengeance?

    ~Dan

  26. paynehollow says:

    Sorry, the last comment should have been addressed to John, not Bubba.

  27. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You say God can do whatever he wants. But on the other you give this list of things in the bjble that tell us what God said and did that you describe as immoral, then say God would never do that. So you’re operating on hypothetical that you never actualize.

    John, I do not believe that God will tell humans to do evil. I don’t think God will tell us to forcibly take brides against their will. I don’t think God will tell us to kill babies.

    Do you disagree? Do you think I’m wrong for thinking this?

    That I think a given text is written in a given literary style, is that any different than you thinking the psalms are written in particular literary styles? That the parables are written in a particular style?

    How do YOU determine what style a text is written in?

    ~Dan

  28. Dan.

    You say the religious zealots of the day “THOUGHT they were looking at texts and making reasonable, fairly literal interpretations.”

    But they weren’t. They really weren’t, and this gets back to Stott’s argument which you refuse to tackle, on the claim that it’s not his complete argument, even though I assure you that it is.

    The Pharisees were adding to Scripture, and in doing so they were LOOSENING its restrictions and EXPANDING its prohibitions.

    It’s not as if Jesus said, “You have heard murder wrong, but it’s really okay.” He taught that murder AND hatred were wrong because, evidently, the oral tradition (“you have HEARD,” not “it is written”) was saying that hate was fine so long as it didn’t result in murder.

    …just as they were saying that lust is fine so long as it didn’t result in adultery.

    (They were drawing the line at harm! Who do we know who does that?)

    …just as they were saying it was okay to break your oath as long as you swore by Jerusalem or the temple’s treasury and not by the temple or by God Himself.

    …and just as they were saying it was required to love your neighbor but permissible to hate your enemy even though that’s NOWHERE in the Bible and is in fact contradicted by comparing Dt 22:4 and Ex 23:4, where you’re clearly supposed to treat your neighbor and your enemy equally well.

    The Sadducees were taking away from Scripture, believing that only the Torah was inspired and denying the authority of the rest of Jewish Scripture.

    It’s not as if Jesus said to them, “Sure, the Torah denies the resurrection of the dead, but trust me, it’s true.” He pointed to A SINGLE VERB TENSE IN THE TORAH to prove that even the text they endorsed supports His position: God told Moses, “I AM the God of Abraham,” who had already died 400+ years earlier, implying that Moses was still alive.

    But they were wrong. Jesus’ teachings and life repeatedly point that out. The answer was NOT in trying to literally follow OT texts, weighing each text as being equally important. The answer was in Grace, Love and Forgiveness – not violence, vengeance and retribution, which is taught throughout the Bible. If we rightly understand God’s nature, then we can better understand and interpret texts.

    Jesus didn’t downplayed the wrath of God, Dan. He taught about Hell more than He taught about Heaven.

    It’s not as if He said, don’t worry about the accounts of Sodom and Gomorrah, that was just epic literature not to be taken literally. NO, Jesus said that their destruction was a mere warm-up to the judgment that’s coming.

    I write all this — and I typed out literally thousands of Stott’s words on the subject — because I think this myth of yours is one of the worst you’re perpetuating.

    It’s simply a pernicious falsehood that Jesus rebuked an approach that hewed too closely to God’s inspired and authoritative written revelation. Pharasaism is bad, but if anyone today is guilty of the fast-and-loose attitude that they displayed in their attitude to Scripture…

    …well, it ain’t us.

  29. Having been gone all day, I missed the start of this, and have skimmed over a lot and saw the usual twisting of Scripture not only by Trabue but also by David.

    The passages David cites, and Trabue uses, were about PERSONAL relationships and NOT about national relationships. Romans 13 says that God gives the government the sword to punish those who do wrong.

    I’m not familiar with David, but Trabue’s rants are standard fare for his abuse of Scripture and his “buffet” way of deciding what in the Bible to believe (in other words, he only believes what is in the Bible IF it agrees with his ideology). But then, what can you expect for a heretic?

  30. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    The Pharisees were adding to Scripture, and in doing so they were LOOSENING its restrictions and EXPANDING its prohibitions.

    The pharisees were HOLDING TIGHT to the literal command, “If you have adulterers, kill them…” Jesus said they were missing the point. Jesus set aside the literal command in favor of this BETTER understanding (found in both the OT and NT) that says love, grace, forgiveness, THIS is the Way of God. He FULFILLED scripture (made it more clear), but did not abolish it.

    Thus, the literal interpretation of Jesus’ religious zealots (When God said, “Kill adulterers,” I believe God meant, “KILL Adulterers!”) was NOT part, apparently, of the intent of Scripture, because Jesus literally set aside that literal interpretation.

    Certainly, Justice is part of that Way, too, but the religious zealots of Jesus’ day had a wrong understanding of that, too. “God’s JUSTICE demands that we kill the adulterer,” they would say, hewing closely to the literal text. Jesus responds, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone,” giving us a BETTER understanding of what God’s Justice is all about.

    As I said in that original post, I agree with much of what you cited from Stott, and other readings of what he has said. IF he is saying what you think he is saying on this point, then I disagree with the “Stottian” opinion in favor of one that I find more rational and more biblical. You are free to disagree, but I don’t find what you’re saying to be biblically or rationally sound, so I must go with what makes sense to me.

    What else would you have me do?

    ~Dan

  31. paynehollow says:

    Glenn ad hommed…

    Trabue’s rants are standard fare for his abuse of Scripture and his “buffet” way of deciding what in the Bible to believe (in other words, he only believes what is in the Bible IF it agrees with his ideology).

    Of course, as pointed out repeatedly, the facts on record are that the Bible shaped my ideology, not the other way around. I USED to believe like Glenn does, mostly. But then, I prayerfully read the Bible and re-read the Bible and KEPT reading the Bible and I had to CHANGE my positions to align better with what I found to be God’s Ways, as described in the Bible and as can be reasonably understood. NOT the other way around.

    Glenn is free to disagree with my conclusions I have reached based on Bible study and prayerful contemplation, but he can’t say that the facts are something that aren’t factual in the real world.

    As always, he is welcome to his own opinions, but not his own facts.

    ~Dan

  32. Dan, briefly, this isn’t the only time you’ve confused me with someone else. I’ve taken great pains not to confuse you with Alan or Geoffrey or Erudite Redneck. I’d appreciate you take the same care with us: we’re not interchangeable pawns in some game.

    You write that Paul tells the Galatians that they are no longer slaves, but sons.

    The Greek word he uses is doulos, which he also uses to refer to himself as a slave of Jesus Christ or God Himself, in Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, and Titus 1:1 — and in Galatians 1:10, the same letter you quote.

    Jesus Himself taught that one cannot serve two masters, but implicitly each person does have ONE master.

    Notice that I certainly DO affirm God’s love for us, but He does own us and all of creation, not in some impersonal or cruel sense as you seem to think from the mere connotation of slavery, but in the sense that is most germane to this discussion: He can do with us as He pleases.

    As to WHY murder or rape are wrong, I also think it is biblical – as well as rational – to say that it is simply self-evidently wrong to shed innocent blood.

    It’s not biblical. Genesis 9:6 gives us an explicit rationale for why murder is wrong. Maybe it’s not the only rationale, but the fact that one rationale is given excludes your position that the prohibition “just is,” that it’s self-evident.

    To whom do I belong? In the sense of property, like a slave, I would say ‘No one, I belong to no one.’

    Not, “I belong to myself”?

    “I am mine” seems like a stronger reason for someone else not to take your life.

    THAT is my opinion to that question. Now, if you want to clarify more specifically what you mean by ‘belong,’ I could answer it further, but I doubt that it would change that much.

    Ignore the terminology about ownership, then.

    I believe that God created you. Do you disagree?

    I believe that God sustains you. Do you disagree?

    I believe that, therefore, God has the MORAL RIGHT (and not just the power) to take your life at His discretion. DO YOU DISAGREE?

  33. Dan, since John 7:53-8:11 is absent from the earliest manuscripts, one should be very careful to avoid drawing conclusions that would contradict anything that we can more confidently trace to the original manuscript.

    Nevertheless, you’re wrong.

    The pharisees were HOLDING TIGHT to the literal command, ‘If you have adulterers, kill them…’

    You’re right that’s the command: stone them BOTH, in the plural. See Deut 22:22 and 24.

    In John 8, they didn’t bring both adulterers forward, did they? But you’re telling me they were HOLDING TIGHT to the literal command.

    You are free to disagree, but I don’t find what you’re saying to be biblically or rationally sound, so I must go with what makes sense to me.

    “What else would you have me do?

    That old chestnut, and it was old the first time I heard it: of course, you should follow your conscience, but I DO wish that you would be a lot more rigorous in defending your position ON THE ACTUAL MERITS, rather than constantly falling back to holding your position because it’s yours.

  34. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I believe that God created you. Do you disagree?

    Ultimately, yes. Of course, literally, no. My parents “created” me. But in a sense, all life comes from God. That is my opinion. Am I mistaken, in your opinion?

    Bubba…

    I believe that God sustains you. Do you disagree?

    In a sense, yes. Literally, of course, the food and water and air that I take in sustains my life. But in a sense, we are all sustained by God. That is my opinion. Am I mistaken, in your opinion?

    Bubba…

    I believe that, therefore, God has the MORAL RIGHT (and not just the power) to take your life at His discretion. DO YOU DISAGREE?

    My answer, my opinion, if you’re asking or my opinion is: I don’t know. I don’t know that I would frame it that way. I don’t think that is a biblical way to frame it.

    I believe God can do whatever God wants. I just don’t know that it is a right way to frame it, in those words, “God has the moral right to… X.”

    God is God and, as such, is above all “rights,” it would seem to me. I don’t think the Bible teaches explicitly “God has the moral right…” to do anything. God just is. God is God. God does as God wishes. God is not a tame God, who are we to say what God has a moral right to do?

    Ultimately, I believe that what the Bible teaches is that God does what is Good, that this is God’s ultimate desire for us.

    Jeremiah wrote…

    For I [God] know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    And we read in Philippians…

    it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill God’s good purpose.

    and in Romans…

    we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to God’s purpose.

    I think God can and will do what God wants, God does not need our “moral approval” of God’s ways. And at the same time, I think biblically speaking, God will not call us to do evil, nor does God want evil in our lives, nor will God DO evil in our lives. I think all of that is contrary to God’s nature, as found in the Bible and as is rational, if one believes in the concept of a Good and perfectly Loving God.

    THAT is my opinion, if you’re wanting my opinion, you have it now.

    Bubba…

    Not, “I belong to myself”?

    No, that is not what I would say. “I belong to myself, as a slave, as property…”? That does not seem rational to me. No, I would not say that.

    In the sense of community (God’s, earthly, human, etc), I would say we belong to each other, that makes sense to me IF we’re speaking of “belonging” as in community. And in that sense, I would not say “I belong to me,” either.

    ~Dan

  35. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    of course, you should follow your conscience, but I DO wish that you would be a lot more rigorous in defending your position ON THE ACTUAL MERITS, rather than constantly falling back to holding your position because it’s yours.

    I’ve defended them for your sake for years. If my explanations do not satisfy you, then don’t accept them. But I sincerely mean what I say and find my positions to be the most moral, biblical and rational ones that make sense. Otherwise, I would not hold them.

    Contrariwise, I do not find your positions (on these topics we’ve covered over the years) to be very rational, moral or biblical. Thus, I do not embrace them. But I fully support your holding them if they make most sense to you and I do not reject you as a brother simply because we disagree on what seems most biblical, rational and/or moral. We disagree, thus is life.

    Bubba…

    In John 8, they didn’t bring both adulterers forward, did they? But you’re telling me they were HOLDING TIGHT to the literal command.

    I’m not sure how the absence of the man makes a difference in this context. Are you suggesting that IF the man and woman were both present, Jesus would have responded differently? That Jesus would have said, “Okay! Now they’re BOTH here! Hand me a rock and let’s start stoning, boys! YEEHAW!”??

    Surely not. So, if not, what’s your point?

    My point stands, I believe. Jesus was turning them away from the literal interpretation to a better understanding of God as a God who wants what’s best for us and who forgives.

    ~Dan

  36. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I’ve taken great pains not to confuse you with Alan or Geoffrey or Erudite Redneck. I’d appreciate you take the same care with us: we’re not interchangeable pawns in some game.

    I deeply apologize for this innocent oversight. I pointed it out and apologized as soon as I noticed it – within seconds – and now, I am again contritely apologizing for the error. Mea culpa. I do not think you are pawns in some game, nor would I ever make that suggestion of you.

    ~Dan

  37. paynehollow says:

    And with that, dear brethren, I am off for Thanksgiving and may be unavailable until Thursday evening.

    May your holidays be blessed, restful and grace-full.

    In Christ,

    Dan

  38. Dan, I appreciate the apology.

    In what possible sense did God create you, if not literally? In what possible sense does God sustain you, if not literally?

    I believe God literally created me and literally sustains me. His means are sometimes indirect, through nature and society, but the ultimate responsibility is TRULY and LITERALLY His. I will thank Him for His many blessings, tomorrow as always, because they ALL come from Him.

    Those good and great promises in Jeremiah and Romans were directed to God’s people, not to all mankind universally. The New Testament is just as clear about God’s holy and righteous wrath, and you diminish that teaching to your discredit it.

    And, about John 8, your point was that the leaders were unthinking literalists. Since they didn’t bring both adulterers, clearly they were not.

    You were trying to point out how they followed the letter of the OT law, but they didn’t.

    And the passage doesn’t attribute to them an overly sensitive conscience about the law: they weren’t trying to live up to its standards, they were (the text tells us) trying to trap Jesus.

    It’s humble and noble, to say that God is beyond your understanding, not tame, et cetera.

    But I see how that humility plays out in practice. You look at what the Bible records as God’s acts and teachings — not JUST His commands, but His deeds, as in the Passover! — and you impose your own understanding of morality onto it.

    The Bible clearly attributes to God commands to wage wars of annihilation.

    Rather than humbly accept that attribution and conclude that, at least in that particular context, the command must have been moral because God commanded it, you conclude that God didn’t command it (or didn’t mean it, even though Israel was punished when it DIDN’T obey it) because you already ASSUME it couldn’t have been moral.

    You let your ideas of morality color the Bible’s teachings, and it ought to be the other way around.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Briefly…

    You let your ideas of morality color the Bible’s teachings, and it ought to be the other way around.

    Again, let the facts stand: I BELIEVED as you believe. It was prayer and Bible study that led me AWAY from those conclusions. You can say that I’ve been mistaken in my biblical understanding, but you can’t rationally say that I let my ideas color the Bible’s teachings.

    Historically, factually speaking, in the real world, it simply didn’t happen that way.

    You are welcome to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

    Peace,

    Dan

  40. Again Trabue doesn’t understand what an ad hominem attack is. HEY, TRABUE, WAKE UP!! It is an attack on the person rather than debating the argument presented.
    To explain the truth about a person as to why they hold the views they hold is NOT and ad hominem attack.
    
It is the truth that you are a rank heretic. It is the truth that you twist Scripture. It is the truth that you pick and choose what to believe in the Bible base on your personal ideology, as aptly demonstrated in this comment string, and as John has called you on.

    The facts are on record in many blog posts that the Bible did NOT, and COULD NOT shape your ideology, because your ideology goes against what Scripture teaches. Or perhaps you COULD say it shaped your ideology in the same way atheists say it shapes their ideologies, i.e., they hate what it says and so their ideologies have to be against it.

    And I CAN say that is truthful, because it agrees with 2000 years of Christian scholarship, while your ideology is of recent vintage. As we say in the apologetics world, “If it’s new, it isn’t true; if it’s true, it isn’t new.”

    And you really do need to get a new cliche about opinions vs facts, because you don’t even know the difference.

  41. Dan:

    Again, let the facts stand: I BELIEVED as you believe. It was prayer and Bible study that led me AWAY from those conclusions. You can say that I’ve been mistaken in my biblical understanding, but you can’t rationally say that I let my ideas color the Bible’s teachings.

    Yes, I can. I’ve asked you for years to show your work, to explain how you got from the Bible to the positions you hold, and your explanations have NEVER been detailed and credible — and that’s not counting when you point, NOT to the Bible, but to “God’s word written on your heart” or (here) what’s “self-evidently” true about how God would never command what the Bible attributes to Him.

    The Bible clearly teaches that we’re dead in our sin if Christ wasn’t raised, but you dismiss as “shallow” the idea that the historical, miraculous bodily Resurrection is essential to the faith — and you even denigrate a belief in the miraculous as akin to “voodoo”.

    You can’t credibly tell me that anti-Christian pose comes from Bible’s clear teachings.

    Sorry, you can’t there from here.

  42. Rather, you can’t get there from here.

    You also can’t get from the Bible to the belief that God is NOT our literal Creator and Sustainer.

    If I don’t get another chance, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, thanking God for things He didn’t do, giving Him credit that’s due to others, which I’m sure is pleasing to Him.

  43. paynehollow says:

    And yet, factually, in the real world, I did. If you have evidence to support your rather incredible charge, by all means, present it. But merely, “You presented your case and I didn’t buy it…” is NOT evidence that it didn’t happen when, again, in the real world, that’s exactly what happened. I was there. I know.

    What is your evidence?

    As to “literal Creator and sustainer…,” I don’t think you are using the word “literal” correctly. LITERALLY, Bubba, you were created/birthed by your mother and father. Now, metaphorically, spiritually, we can say that God is our Creator and Sustainer, and I say a hearty Amen to that. But literally?

    What is your evidence that God “literally” “created” you?

    Had a minute.

    Glenn, same thing for you: The argument is, “Dan got to his beliefs via prayer and Bible study…” The evidence I present is my own testimony. I was there. I know what happened.

    For you to counter with some EVIDENCE, would be to present something like, “Dan didn’t really grow up Southern Baptist – his parents were satanists and he embraced it, too! I’ve talked to his brother and I know the real story!…” THAT would be evidence – an adult rational argument against the claim.

    “Dan is a heretic!” is, instead, an empty ad hom attack. You’re attacking my personal being, not my argument. Again, the argument is, “I grew up in a traditional church, believed as you believe and, through Bible study and prayer, moved to my positions I have now…” Do you have any rational, non-fallacial argument based on evidence, not ad homs?

    It’s all about evidence, dear friends. If you ain’t got it, don’t make the claim.

    Words of wisdom for this Thanksgiving Eve.

    Blessings!

    Dan

    • You saying that your study of the Bible led you to your ideology is like someone saying that their study of mathematics led them to believe that 2+2=7. It is impossible for any studying math to come to that conclusion by JUST studying math, just like it is impossible for someone studying JUST the Bible to come to the conclusions you come to. Your self-deception is astounding.

      “Dan is a heretic” is NOT an ad hominem attack, especially if no debate, no argument is taking place. If you gave an argument about something in the Bible and I gave no refutation other than, “You’re a heretic,” that would be an ad hominem attack. By just saying “Dan is a heretic” I am only describing the type of person you are – that your every being is saturated in heresy.

  44. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    like it is impossible for someone studying JUST the Bible to come to the conclusions you come to.

    You keep saying that and yet, here I am: Living proof that what you think is “impossible,” is not, in fact, impossible. What did I study besides God Word to reach my conclusions? “The Cross and the Switchblade…”? Billy Graham? Jonathan Edwards? All I read – with very few quite conservative exceptions – was the Bible. All I listened to were conservative/traditional preachers/teachers. James Dobson. Leonard Ravenhill. Chuck Swindoll. etc, etc.

    In fact, in the real world, this is exactly what happened.

    If you have no proof to the contrary (and you don’t), your “I don’t think it could happen, therefore, it didn’t happen. You’re a heretic!!” silliness just doesn’t hold much water.

    It’s about the evidence. In this case, you have none.

    ~Dan (leaving whenever my family gets ready…)

    • Trabue,

      You are in denial – and I don’t mean that river in Egypt. I gave the analogy with the math. It is impossible to come to such conclusions by studying just the Bible – you had to have a bias against it to begin with. Even a person who has never read it before will not come to the conclusions you came to. You can say all you want that it was only the Bible that led you to such conclusion, but you are denying the truth.

      You have by your very teachings identified yourself as a heretic, whether you agree with that term or not. It is your heresy which leads you to the conclusions you arrive at with Scripture. And you have proven that you pick and choose what to accept in the Bible. THAT is from a bias.

      End of discussion.

  45. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    I gave the analogy with the math. It is impossible to come to such conclusions by studying just the Bible

    You keep saying this. I keep coming back with reality. It happened, Glenn. The evidence is there. WHAT “bias” did I have? Was I “too conservative…”? Glenn, I was a conservative’s conservative (religious conservative, that is). I was against the idea of normalizing gay behavior, I was certain that the Bible condemned all gay behavior. I was a biblical literalist (in the sense that you all claim to be literalists). I read ONLY the Bible (just about). My exceptions to reading the Bible were books like “Hinds Feet on High Places,” “The Hiding Place,” “Pilgrims Progress…” I eschewed all liberal “christianity” the same way you do. I had NO liberal influences. I was against women in ministry. Point after point, I was a traditional conservative in the Southern Baptist vein. I read (still read) the Bible daily, prayed for hours at a time, went to a traditional church 3-5 days a week for sermons, Sunday School, Bible studies, youth meetings, young adult meetings, evangelism training, etc, etc.

    Where is the “bias…”? You are making a charge with no support beyond, “I don’t think it could happen, therefore, it couldn’t happen…” and yet, I’m telling you, I happened!

    If I were to engage in a bit of that false science “psychoanalyst,” I would guess that this is why Glenn reacts so strongly against me – he doesn’t “get” me. I do not compute in his real world, he is certain I can’t exist, and yet… I DO exist, I am just who I say I am and this results in cognitive dissonance in Glenn’s life and he lashes out disproportionately as a result. Just a hunch, probably wrong.

    Regardless Brother Glenn, the facts are the facts. I had no “liberal” influence. My only biases were towards conservative Christianity. The evidence is all there supporting what I am testifying to.

    If you have some actual evidence, present it. Otherwise, just admit that you don’t see how this can be, and yet it is…

    Denying reality is not good for your psyche, brother…

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      The guy who came up with 2+2=7 would have all the same type of claims you have, but he’d be wrong in his thinking nevertheless, and he’d be denying the truth, nevertheless.

      Just as you can make all these claims while denying the truth.

      The rest of your comment is nothing more than irrational claims trying to defend why you are in denial. Of course, since you want to use unscientific “psychoanalyst” [sic], it’s no wonder you have no rational thought!

      YOU ARE THE ONE IN DENIAL trying to justify your heresy.

  46. Dan.

    “I was there. I know.” — It’s a shame that perjury trials can’t be simply resolved by having the accused be a character witness for himself, but your assurances don’t mean much when A) men in general are capable of dishonesty, B) I’ve had good reason to doubt your honesty over the years, and C) it ought to be easy for you to “show your work,” but you can’t or won’t.

    About God being my Creator, the word “creator” isn’t a mundane (lit. earthly) word like “father.” Because “father” describes something physical, it can be used figuratively, and the imagery can point to some other literal truth, but the same isn’t true with the word “creator.”

    “Birth” and “creation” aren’t even synonyms, as I existed at least a few months prior to my birth — my birth date and creation date aren’t even the same! My heartbeat, my brainwaves, my organs ALL existed weeks prior.

    My mother carried and birthed me, but she didn’t create my soul, she didn’t create the atoms from which I’m comprised, and she didn’t create her half of my genome — she only conveyed that genetic information from her parents to me, all quite involuntarily and autonomically.

    Neither my mother, nor my father, nor the pair of them together comprise my creator. God is my creator.

    What evidence do I have? The only evidence I need, the clear and emphatic teaching of God’s written word.

    1 Corinthians 8:6. All things are from God the Father; I am a thing; therefore, I am from God, and He is my Creator. QEFD.

    James 1:17. Every good thing and every good gift is from the Father above; my existence is a good thing; therefore, my existence is from God, and He is my Creator. QEFD.

    My claim is that He is my Creator and Sustainer, and both truths are clearly taught.

    Psalm 139:13. God made the writer in his mother’s womb, and logically He also made me in my mother’s womb. Notice here that figurative language about knitting is used — even a poet in a bronze-age agricultural society would know that knitting needles aren’t present in utero — but THAT figurative language points to the quite literal truth that God is the writer’s creator.

    In the very next verse, the psalms even says he praises God “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” but why praise God if He had nothing to do with it?

    Matthew 6:25-34. Here, Jesus argues a fortiori: we shouldn’t worry because, if God cares for the birds and lilies, how much more does He provide for us? Again, figurative language is used — lilies don’t wear actual clothes — but the underlying truth MUST be literal in order to logical. It makes no sense for Christ to teach us not to worry if God provides for us only in some vague, figurative sense.

    (And here I note your claim, made just now, that you’re a follower of Jesus who reads the Bible “through the lens of the specific teachings of Jesus.” You evidently don’t trust what He taught about the authority of every penstroke of Scripture, what He taught about why God made us male and female, and what He taught about His blood being shed for our forgiveness; you DO know that Jesus taught about more than poverty and peacemaking, right?)

    (And here also I’m reminded of your claim that sometimes Jesus appealed to Scripture and sometimes He points to nature, this passage being a particular example of His deriving a lesson from outside the Jewish Bible. I see and raise: Psalm 147:8-9.)

    God isn’t my literal father; that would be the man who contributed his half of my genome, including the Y chromosome.

    God isn’t my literal potter, as I am not literal clay.

    But God is my literal creator: if “creator” is to be taken figuratively, riddle me this, WHAT IS THE LITERAL TRUTH THAT THIS “FIGURATIVE” LANGUAGE PRESENTS POETICALLY?

    I do wonder, what does your deity do that makes him worthy of worship?

    I believe that Yahweh, whom I worship, created me, sustains me, and saves me — NOT glibly, in violation of His perfect holiness which I could never attain on my onw, but by sending His Son to die the death I deserved and by raising Him bodily from the dead. And He reveals all these great truths for all time, preserved in a written record that we can trust to be authoritative.

    The deity you worship does none of these things. He’s not your creator or sustainer, and he’s not a miracle-worker, engaging in so much “voodoo”…

    (And I wonder, do you not affirm the Incarnation, cause “God becoming man” is AT LEAST as miraculous as a crucified man coming back to life.)

    …and the truths he revealed have become clouded in scripture that is mired in (your words) atrocity, bigotry, and “less than perfect” revelation.

    What IS your deity good for, other than the obvious role of being a useful cudgel for your radical, statist political philosophy?

  47. “God knit me in my mother’s womb” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God created me.

    “The Lord is my shepherd” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God provides for you.

    Dan, if you want to insist that the claims I make ought to be taken figuratively, do me a favor and fill in the blanks:

    1) “God created me” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that ___X___.

    2) “God sustains me” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that ___Y___.

    What is X? What is Y? Fill me in here.

  48. My first chance to jump in and I must revert to something Dan said early on;

    “Polygamy was accepted and part of the culture then, is it now?

    Kidnapping the orphaned girls of the dead enemy and making them your wife was accepted (commanded!) then, is it now?”

    These misstatements have been corrected for Dan many, many times over the years. He confuses acceptance with tolerance. God never “accepted” polygamy. He tolerated it. From the beginning we were create male and female to come together to become one flesh. There’s never been any statement by God that He intended for polygamy to be His ideal.

    Further, He never commanded that anyone take the orphaned daughters of slain enemies. He commanded the manner in which they do it that was obviously an adjustment in the manner it had been done previously. He does not explain why He permitted it at all, but only speaks of how it should be done. Those of us who truly accept His sovereignty assume He had a good reason for doing such things as He did. It seems quite likely that it was a case of the people at the time still at the milk stage and not the meat stage. It could be that it was, regardless of the way Dan chooses to view it, a means by which these orphaned girls could be provided for after their parents were justifiably killed during wars. Dan prefers to view it as rape.

    Glenn’s math analogy is pretty spot on (if nothing else, Dan should pay attention to it so as to better understand how to form analogy. His are among the worst examples of analogy I’ve ever seen). Dan’s conclusions simply cannot be reached by any serious study of Scripture. He cites a number of preachers and theologians with whom I am familiar, such as Swindoll, Dobson, Graham….none of them say anything like what Dan says. In fact, I would wager big bucks that they would find Dan’s Scriptural understanding as goofy as we do.

  49. paynehollow says:

    You keep saying that, and yet, this is just what happened. Bible study. Prayer. Conservative teachings. THAT IS ALL that led me to my positions that I have now. Included in the process was a bias AGAINST those “godless liberals” and any teachings they might have.

    Again, it all comes down to evidence. You all have none. In truth, in the real world, I reached my positions just as I know it happened. WHERE is your evidence that it “didn’t happen…” when here I am, from where I came?

    As repeatedly noted, you all have ZERO evidence except to say, “I don’t think it could happen, therefore, it must not have happened.” Comparing it to math facts is meaningless. Your hunches about my life and knowledge are not in any way equal to math. Indeed, as we can see by your demonstrably erroneous conclusions, your hunches are FAR from comparable to math facts.

    If you have no facts (and you have none), back off and admit your error. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      I do not believe your story about how you were such a true believer and a conservative any more than I believe atheists when they say they used to be Christians.

      You have this concocted story to give yourself credence, and to pretend that your study of the Bible showed you all these previous conservative beliefs were false.

      And it is all a lie; a self-deluded lie. There is no credibility at all in your claims. Quit pretending and speak truthfully that you have always been a liberal heretic. I have a lot more respect for people who are honest than those who try to make excuses for their ideology.

  50. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    What is X? What is Y? Fill me in here.

    God creates me in the sense that God is creator of all things, giver of all goods, that God created this world and shares in the creation process. HOW does God share in the creation process? Because God is LOVE. The love between people is what leads to creation of all sorts – creating homes, creating families, creating babies, adopting babies. God is the Creator of Love and we who are Beloved share in that love.

    Same for Sustain.

    In what way did God literally create you? Create your soul? I could buy that, I guess, maybe… but it’s not provable. I might have to think about it. I mean, the Bible says nothing about God “creating souls…” so, where do you get that?

    Maybe, maybe not. It’s a pretty hypothesis. I find my hypothesis (also unprovable) more solid and rational, to me.

    ~Dan

  51. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, just because you don’t believe it in your head does not mean it wasn’t factual in the real world. My story can be checked out. You can see that there is an actual Victory Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, just a mile or so from my actual home on Whitney Ave that I grew up in. You can see that my family attended there for decades, as a matter of record. You can probably find it in documents where I was baptized in 1973.

    You can see that there really was a Brother Schaeffer who was our pastor until about that time, and that Brother Saylor took his place when he left. These were the men who preached to us during my childhood and teen years. You can certainly find out that Mrs Taylor, Miss Marie, Dalton Mullins and others also attended there and that they were among my Sunday School teachers. I can show you photos of the Junior Camp that I attended each summer as a child and where I went as a Christian counselor most summers of my youth. You can find out about Remembrance, the Christian band I was in with Roger Rayburn and Ed Stivers for TEN years (1982 – 1992), where we traveled Kentucky and the Southeast preaching and singing the Good News (from a very traditional conservative viewpoint). If you looked hard enough, you could almost certainly find some of our old cassettes and the songs we sang about “Sinner Man,” and warning of “Double Talk” and the sweet, “Father, I hear you calling me and I, I’m not where I should be, Oh Lord, your open arms I see and I, I’m coming home…”

    Those who are living can attest to my devotion to Christ in the traditional Baptist/Christian church way are in the dozens. The evidence is there.

    It’s simply demonstrable that your rather crazy and wholly fabricated and unsupported claim that I “have always been a liberal heretic” is simple made up out of nothing but your imagination. In the real world, the facts are the facts and they can be demonstrated, actual physical, real evidence to support my facts, whereas you have nothing but your imagination to support yours.

    Again, you’re only embarrassing yourself by making claims that not only you can’t support, but that can be proven false. Thou shalt not bear false witness, Glenn. That includes just making up facts that you don’t know to be true.

    ~Dan

    • Going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car. Being baptized doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than walking through a carwash makes you a car.

      Whether you went to a church and were baptized isn’t the issue. Your ideology is the issue, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to come to YOUR conclusions by reading the Bible or by good Bible teachings. You can continue denying this fact all you want, but it remains the truth nevertheless.

      My claims are not crazy nor are they unsupportable. You demonstrate your liberal and heretical beliefs on every blog you post on. That is a fact, which others besides me have pointed out.

  52. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Going to a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car. Being baptized doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than walking through a carwash makes you a car.

    Never said it did. Of course, it doesn’t. But, repenting of one’s sins and accepting Jesus as one’s savior, accepting the grace by which we are saved, this does make one saved, according to orthodox Evangelical Christianity. You made an unsupported and demonstrably false claim, that I “have always been a liberal heretic,” my evidence demonstrates that this is not the case. CLEARLY, looking at the facts, I was raised in a conservative traditional southern Baptist church tradition. CLEARLY, I had no influence from “liberal heretics,” as factually speaking, I was only surrounded by traditional Christians and only read the Bible and the occasional traditional literature.

    You made an unsupported and false claim and rather than admit it, you are doubling down on your false claims.

    Glenn…

    You demonstrate your liberal and heretical beliefs on every blog you post on.

    No doubt, I hold beliefs that you feel are heretical and liberal (which are, in fact, more anabaptist and only slightly “liberal,” as well as extremely conservative in the way that anabaptists are generally considered conservative. But the claim you made was that I could not have reached this anabaptist (what you call “liberal and heretical”) position with only reading the Bible and prayer. The FACTS show a different reality.

    Again, you are welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts. In the real world, prayer and Bible study led me to my positions, and that, starting from a bias AGAINST what you call “liberal” influences.

    Factually, at least on these points, you are demonstrably mistaken. Admit it and move on. Be a man, not a parrot.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,
      You are in denial, and a demonstrated liar. Your prayers and Bible study could NOT lead you to such conclusions without practicing eisegesis. THAT is a fact and not an opinion.
      http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

      I am a man and not a parrot, you jackass. I have absolutely no respect for you – none. I can’t respect anyone who blasphemes God and refuses correction and is unteachable in his rank arrogance of discounting thousands of years of teachings just to justify your enablement of perversion. Get thee behind me Satan.

  53. paynehollow says:

    Again, Glenn, you keep repeating what you cannot prove with evidence, as if by repeating a demonstrable falsehood enough, you can force yourself and others to believe it. But in the real world, it simply happened just the way I said it happened.

    It is ironic that you blast me so thoroughly for disagreeing with you, as if disagreeing with you is the ultimate sin, but you do so by repeatedly bearing false witness and slandering. Again, it’s all about the evidence.

    I’ll quit stating the obvious and let it stand at that. If you repeat a lie 10,000 more times, Glenn, it remains a lie, a false witness, a slander. Let the evidence stand. I have the evidence on my side, Glenn has rumor and innuendo and false witness. Naught else.

    Lord have mercy on us all…

    ~Dan

    • No Dan,

      I have provided evidence of your heresy and other false teachings by way of that link, and by way of what you say here about who Christ and God is.

      You can claim all you want that it was the Bible which led you to your liberal heresy, and no one will believe it any more than if you said your study of an math book led you to conclude that 2+2=7. It is impossible on both counts.

  54. Glenn,

    I think it would be far more likely that what Dan believes was a conservative upbringing might indeed be true. But it doesn’t mean he understood any of it any better than he understands Scripture now. To say, “I used to be like you.” is unconvincing if his views on conservatism now do not reflect conservatism any more than his views on Scripture reflect a sound understanding of Scripture.

    I simply focus on his claim of “serious study” of the Bible and how nonsensical is is considering the result of that “serious study”. It would be hard for one totally ignorant of Scripture to engage in even a cursory study and come to the same conclusions as Dan. To then encourage such a person to study more deeply (more “seriously”) would further increase the gap between a legitimate conclusion and those of Dan’s.

    Dan talks a good game. When he speaks, for example, of how he goes about studying, his methodology seems reasonable. But employing those methods and coming to believe as he does requires more than Scripture alone, for Scripture does not say what Dan says. It does not teach what he has learned. It does not support what he believes to be true.

    Even his nonsense about “epic style”. He has yet to explain how any “epic style” demands that his conclusions about God waging war by proxy is metaphor rather than a direct record of what happened. As Bubba has always pleaded, if it is metaphor, of what does it represent? How did the actual event unfold? He has never, nor could he on his best day, explain how lies about God were allowed in a rendering of God’s people and His impact upon them, and where fact exists and fantasy ends. He has not explained how some behavioral prohibitions could be “self-evidently” true, when that it clearly not the case for all of mankind.

    His credibility might be better served if so many of the holes in his beliefs were not answered by responses such as, “well, that’s your hunch and you’re welcome to it”, or “might it just be possible that you are wrong”, or the use of non-Scriptural influences to twist into support for his conclusions and beliefs. He appeals to reason while providing no evidence that supports the notion that he is reasonable in his interpretations. At best, he can only confirm that superficially he sounds like a Christian. But an in depth inquiry tells something much different.

    There’s very little, if anything, that proves Dan is orthodox in his understandings and more than there is little that isn’t superficial that proves Dan was ever conservative. Indeed, I have absolutely no confidence that he understands his “anabaptist” doctrines now that he claims that (over and over and over and over—we get it Dan).

    What’s more, his claims about his upbringing? They’re all anecdotal. We know how he dismisses anecdotal evidence, don’t we?

  55. paynehollow says:

    Well. All this unsupported slander and false witness has been some fun ad hommin’, but I’ll end it by just repeating my point, made earlier and mostly ignored in favor of the ad hommin’…

    Does ancient Israel’s history mean that everything condoned for Israel is good or moral for us?

    Polygamy was accepted and part of the culture then, is it now?

    Kidnapping the orphaned girls of the dead enemy and making them your wife was accepted (commanded!) then, is it now?

    Wiping out all the enemy, including the infants, was accepted and commanded then, is it good now?

    They required farmers to set aside part of their land for poor and foreigners, they had no concept of “illegal aliens,” they killed those caught in adultery and disrespectful children and those who worked on Saturdays… are you endorsing all these behaviors?

    No, I do not find it compelling for modern morality that there are stories in ancient Israel’s history that show a variety of behaviors being accepted and even encouraged. Do you? (And John, here is a place that would be helpful for you to answer the questions being asked, rather than just ignoring them, as they are salient to the point YOU raised…)
    =====
    TO WHICH, John replied, “Yes…” That is, if you hear god telling you to kill your enemies’ babies or rape their virgin girls, YES, you should do it, in John’s apparent opinion.

    I say that this is a horribly immoral and irrational position to take, one that, if admitted to, could lead you to spend some time in a mental institution. Thankfully, John and those who agree with him are NOT hearing “god’s voice” telling him to commit atrocities, BUT, if John ever DOES hear god telling him to do this, he will apparently be right on it.

    ON topic, I do hope you all would take a look at how overtly and measurably evil that position is to take (IF it is actually what you’re saying… John wasn’t much for being specific or direct in his answers, so perhaps I’ve misunderstood him. He can clarify, if so…)

    I will say to Marshall, or whoever it was who tried to defuse the texts by saying God didn’t encourage polygamy, he only accepted it, by pointing (once again) to the text that shows us that God GAVE David his many wives. Seems an odd thing to do, to GIVE “many wives” to a husband if God (in this context) didn’t approve of it.

    And, of course, God DID tell Israel to kill their enemies’ children and babies, God DID tell Israel to kidnap the virgin daughters and “make” them their “wives…” so, IF YOU TAKE SCRIPTURE the way you all take Scripture, you have to allow for the possibility that god might sometimes command infanticide or rape/forced marriages.

    This is one reason why even TRYING to take these passages literally is so very irrational and unbiblical and just plain morally wrong.

    On topic. Off topic, I’m finished addressing the ad hom false witness and unsupported attacks. They can crumple under the weight of their own obvious falsity and immorality.

    ~Dan

  56. paynehollow says:

    By the way, I never noted it, but not only is the cartoon not off in general, it’s quite funny. Love me some “Pearls before Swine…”

  57. “Does ancient Israel’s history mean that everything condoned for Israel is good or moral for us?”

    This is an example of what Craig was referencing when he said that Dan defends against that which no one said. More specifically, none of us have any confusion over what still is applicable and what isn’t from ancient Levitical law. We don’t equate trimming the sides of our hair with stealing, murder or sexual immorality. We aren’t audacious enough to try and pretend that’s a real argument.

    “Polygamy was accepted and part of the culture then, is it now?”

    It was a part of the culture perhaps. It was accepted perhaps, especially by those who had multiple wives. It was only tolerated by God. Not accepted and not encouraged. Indeed, all polygamous marriages in the O.T. are presented in such a manner as to expose them as disharmonious and unsatisfactory. Tolerance is not acceptance (despite how the term is used today by leftists).

    “Kidnapping the orphaned girls of the dead enemy and making them your wife was accepted (commanded!) then, is it now?”

    Deut 21:10-14 speaks of marrying a captive woman (not “orphaned girl”). While such a person may indeed have been the daughter of the slain, it is notable that Dan will always choose to use the most distressing term he can imagine to make his point. Indeed, I reviewed the passage in at least a dozen different Bibles and found only one, the Living Bible (go figure) that used the term “girl”. All others used the term “woman”, even one that called itself “Young’s Literal Translation.

    Commentaries, such as Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible, Matthew Henry’s Commentaries, Pearl Elman (a very long and detailed commentary from a Jewish perspective) and others clearly indicate that what is happening in this verse is just a tad more than taking some babe and raping her. Indeed, it suggest concern for the woman as well as the laws about marriage. And of course, “kidnapping” is a word that brings about connotations even the word “captive” doesn’t necessarily hold.

    “Wiping out all the enemy, including the infants, was accepted and commanded then, is it good now?”

    This is said in a manner meant to suggest that the stories of conquest by God’s command were joyfully mandated and carried out. It was acceptable because it was on God’s orders. This is not to say that it was necessarily a “good”, though anything God wants done should be regarded as likely to fulfill some “good” plan of His, but that it was a good thing because God commanded it. For it to be “good” to do it now would require the same direct command that God gave through Moses or any other of His prophets. Is Dan aware of a modern day equivalent of Moses, or does he really think that anyone would claim God spoke to them before ordering the annihilation of an entire people?

    “They required farmers to set aside part of their land for poor and foreigners,”

    Yes, ancient Israel was required to do this. Should contemporary farmers be so mandated, or should we let them decide to what extent they would be charitable? New Testament teaching would suggest the latter.

    ” they had no concept of “illegal aliens,””

    What makes Dan think this is so I have no idea. There is nothing that I can think of that would suggest they didn’t have some parallel attitude towards those who invaded their territories; nothing that suggests there was no distinction between those looking to enter their territories on the terms of the Israelites versus those who would break their laws to take advantage of what their territories had to offer. Aliens were required to abide the laws of the Jews. Our laws simply require entering our borders in a certain way. Dan’s use of Scripture to attack opponents of illegal immigration are a heinous misuse.

    “they killed those caught in adultery and disrespectful children and those who worked on Saturdays…”

    Jesus explained the point of the Sabbath, and we still regard adultery and disrespectful children as sinful behaviors. Perpetrators are required to repent of such behaviors and if not, rest assured, they will die eternally. But again, Dan points to outrageous examples that can be explained in ways he will only rebuke by alluding to hunches and opinion, rather than on substantive understandings held by scholars for generations. He does this so as to mitigate any prohibition that still stands against behaviors he no longer wishes to hold as sinful, because friends engage in them. It allow him to hold to wild distortions of Biblical teaching as though such distortions are clearly presented in Scripture. This is evident in his use of the term “modern morality”. There is no such thing. There is only morality. There is only right vs wrong. There is only truth. Such has remained as unchanged throughout the history of the world as God has remained unchanged forever and ever. Morality doesn’t change, but people like Dan and those he enables try to change it.

    What’s more, his understanding of what was once accepted and encouraged shows that his “serious study” of Scripture was anything but.

    He abuses the story of David in this way as well. The passage wherein God “gives” David the many wives of Saul was in the context of David being busted for having Uriah killed in order to take Bathsheba. But put that aside. God still “gave” David the many wives of Saul. God gave EVERYTHING that was once Saul’s to David. But note in the passage, nor anywhere else, does Scripture tell us what God expected David to do with these women. He gave David the wives. Is there any place where God tells David to take any of them for his wife? I could be wrong, but I don’t think He did. What might have become of these women had God NOT given them to David?

    Scripture is Silly Putty to Dan.

  58. paynehollow says:

    And reason is silly putty to you, Marshall. Truth and holiness are silly putty to you.

    Is that how you want to spend your thanksgiving weekend? Trading grade school insults?

    To your first point…

    This is an example of what Craig was referencing when he said that Dan defends against that which no one said. More specifically, none of us have any confusion over what still is applicable and what isn’t from ancient Levitical law.

    I’ll remind you of the context.

    John had said…

    none of you find it strange that Jesus condoned and aided the Israelite armies during its growth and retaking of its given land.

    Thus, JOHN was referring to OT texts as if they represented a valid teaching for today. Saying “Jesus condoned aiding the Israelis as they slaughtered their enemies and their babies and kidnapped their virgin girls and took them into forced marriages.

    SO, it would appear that JOHN has some confusion over what what is applicable. That is, I raised a reasonable question in context of John’s statement. The question was, “Do you REALLY think all OT examples are moral guidelines for us?” and I then offered some of those examples that most reasonable, moral adults can attest, “NO, this is not a valid moral example we want in our lives.”

    So, Marshall, clarify, please. Since you say you have no confusion over what still is applicable, are you saying it is or isn’t applicable today to say that sometimes, we might need to kill the infant babies of our enemies? That sometimes, we can kidnap the orphaned daughters of our enemies to force them into a marriage with us?

    IF you agree with me that these are not valid moral examples for us today, then your argument is with John, who appears to be stuck on defending that. Indeed, John kept criticizing me for suggesting that, “NO. these are NOT moral options for us…” John suggested I must think God is evil because I reject these as valid moral options. IF you and I agree, then your argument is with John, who apparently DOES have confusion over what still is applicable and not.

    I’ll let you two hash that out. And I should stop there and let you all deal with that fallacious reasoning before moving on to these others, but I have to take on one more. You said…

    It was a part of the culture perhaps. It was accepted perhaps, especially by those who had multiple wives. It was only tolerated by God.

    Where? Where has God told you God only “tolerated” polygamy? Where does God tell us in the Bible that he only “tolerated” polygamy? Come now, are you not reading into the text something that isn’t there?

    As I pointed out (have pointed out multiple times) the text says that God GAVE David his “many wives.” (2 Sam 12, as oft pointed out). And, in case you don’t want to look it up, God is speaking through the prophet Nathan and says to David…

    “I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wiveS into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added you many more things like these.”

    Do you think God is in the habit of giving to us things God does not approve of?

    Your argument fails because…

    1. Polygamy is NEVER – not one single time – condemned. It is never hinted at that it is wrong, as a marriage model. Indeed, concubines in addition to many wives are never one time condemned.

    2. God never condemns polygamy, indeed, God GIVES David his many wives.

    3. When you make a claim like “God only tolerated this…” it is not a biblical statement. It is you pretending to read God’s mind. It is you trying to explain away something that is not explained away in the original text.

    Of course, all of this is not to suggest that I agree with polygamy, concubinism or forced marriages. It is to point out the rational hole in your approach to reading the Bible. You are left with these accepted behaviors that, by today’s standards, are clearly morally wrong.

    If you address these holes, I may come back and point to the other holes in your reasoning.

    Happy, restful holiday weekend, in the meantime. Breathe, contemplate, rest, reason.

    ~Dan

  59. paynehollow says:

    Ad hom attack, all attack, no logic. No substance.

    If you’re going to argue, argue like an adult, Glenn. Where specifically have I made a mistake in what I said?

    Given past evidence, I have to expect that no substance will be forthcoming. May God bless you just the same, dear Glenn. Have a great Saturday and a holy Lord’s Day tomorrow.

    In Christ,

    Dan

    • According to ignorant Trabue, if I see a black man and say he’s black, that is an ad hominem attack. If I see a murderer in the act and call him a murderer, that is an ad hominem attack.

      So, when I see Trabue’s professed beliefs written on so many blogs I can’t count, and call him a liberal heretic and a non-Christian, that is an ad hominem attack.

      To paraphrase a now-famous saying, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

  60. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    It was a part of the culture perhaps. It was accepted perhaps, especially by those who had multiple wives. It was only tolerated by God.

    Returning to that statement, I wonder if you take this stance when it comes to something like polygamy, why you don’t take the same stance when it comes to killing our enemies, along with their children and infants? Or do you? That is, DO you say that God tolerated the killing of infants of the enemies, but never really wanted it. It was part of the culture, accepted by the culture and tolerated by God, but never was/is part of God’s ideal plan?

    If you take that stance on the one (polygamy) cultural trait common to the day, why not the other (killing the enemy, along with their children)?

    ~Dan

  61. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, my arguments, my comments and questions, they are above. IF you want to talk about my IDEAS, then you’d address them. IF, instead, you attack me, making various false and unsupported charges, that is, by definition, an ad hom attack.

    So, to use your illustrations, if a black man says, “I think we learn X, Y and Z in the Bible because we see here, here and here these points made…” and you, instead of dealing with the points he made, say, “We can ignore him, he’s a black man!” That is an attack on the person, not dealing with the arguments.

    See how that works?

    ~Dan

    • Trabue See how that works?

      Stupid is as stupid does. Your analogy is nowhere near what has taken place.
      We have seen your teachings and beliefs on so many blogs that I couldn’t count them. WE KNOW YOUR BELIEFS, and your beliefs identify you as a liberal and as a heretic, and as a non-Christian.

  62. “Thus, JOHN was referring to OT texts as if they represented a valid teaching for today.

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that John was offering that statement as moral guidance for US in the here and now? Really? Are you that desperate to defend your distortions? Those OT texts do represent a valid teaching for us today. They teach us about the history of the ancient Hebrews as well as God’s part in it, specifically His use of the Hebrews to exact His punishment on sinful peoples. You want us to believe it is a metaphor of some kind but to this point have failed to provide any explanation for what it represents, OR that it was just some manner of putting a good spin on the actions of the Hebrews of their own initiative, thus recording lies about God’s part in their actions. Neither of these possibilities holds the least bit of logic or legitimacy.

    What’s more, you think you are being rational by wondering if any of us believe “raping girls orphaned by war” or “killing babies” is justified for us due to OT renderings of actual events. Who would think this way that would convince others to join in? You embarrass yourself by making such ludicrous suggestions as if they should be taken seriously as thoughtful and serious arguments.

    “John suggested I must think God is evil because I reject these as valid moral options.”

    I don’t think so. I think John suggested you think God is evil because you claim that His commands to the Hebrews to annihilate entire populations is an example of God ordering the Hebrews to do evil, and God won’t make us engage in behavior that is evil. John’s position is that because it was ordered by God that it cannot then be evil to comply. To use your own example that seeks to alter opinion through emotion-based scenarios, raping babies can’t be evil if doing so was on direct orders from God. WE trust that though we cannot understand why God would order to do such a thing, He likely as a good reason. YOU prefer to judge Him (as if you have any authority to do so) as if He’s just another dude. Therefore, we can live with the ramifications of Biblical stories that describe His wrath poured out upon entire peoples, whether that be by His own Hand (the Great Flood, the sending of the Angel of Death to kill the first born of Egypt), or by proxy (any of the Hebrew battles mandated by God). We don’t look upon the actions of either God or His proxies as evil because it was His will.

    “So, Marshall, clarify, please. Since you say you have no confusion over what still is applicable, are you saying it is or isn’t applicable today to say that sometimes, we might need to kill the infant babies of our enemies? That sometimes, we can kidnap the orphaned daughters of our enemies to force them into a marriage with us?”

    Stupid question, unreasonable, irrational and immature. I have no issue with wiping out entire populations if their armies refuse to cease aggressive campaigns despite our best efforts to reason with them through diplomacy or if lesser military actions fails to sway them. At some point, there could indeed be a need to annihilate their entire population. This has been done in the past to “take the fight out of” our enemies when no other method would succeed. I would never wish to endanger the more innocent members of their society, but would do anything to halt the dangers inflicted upon my own. You’re more than welcome to let your family and friends die when their deaths can be prevented.

    But never has it been a goal of our leaders to target infants, nor do I believe that would ever be a strategy unless our own annihilation was the alternative. Nor do I believe that there are any who are looking to find a spouse from the survivors of our battles with our enemies.

    Most importantly, these types of stories and these types of incidents are not commands of God comparable to, say, one of the Big Ten. The manner in which He tolerated the taking of WOMEN in battle showed a more charitable attitude toward them than what was already going on. Try to actually deal with these passages in context and stop pretending it represents no less a representation of what we regard as literal understanding of Scripture. It only confirms my position that you are incredibly dishonest.

    Next up: Dan’s idiocy regarding polygamy.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    To use your own example that seeks to alter opinion through emotion-based scenarios, raping babies can’t be evil if doing so was on direct orders from God. WE trust that though we cannot understand why God would order to do such a thing,

    I don’t think taking a stand against killing babies is emotional. I think it is rational and moral as all of heaven.

    But perhaps I’m misunderstanding you: DO you think taking a stand against killing babies is irrational and emotion-based?

    You all want to say that God MIGHT call you to kill babies and that doing so would be moral? And you call me immoral and heretical?

    At least I think you’ve got one thing right: You CAN’T understand why God might order such a thing, and rightly so, because God does not command us to do evil acts. No one can understand how a perfectly loving and just God would command such an atrocity. Given that you truly can’t understand how or why God would do that, is it not reasonable to at least give some serious thought to the question of “Well, maybe this would be an example of metaphoric/epic/allegorical literary devices?”

    I mean, presumably you recognize that Jesus’ command to hate our families is an example of hyperbole, that Jesus’ command to tear out our eyes and chop off our arms is hyperbole… and HOW do you recognize that? Because it would be irrational, immoral and not fit in context of the Bible to assume it is literal.

    If you recognize that because a literal interpretation doesn’t make sense to you, why can’t you at least entertain the idea that THESE sorts of passages are not literal because you admittedly can’t make sense of a literal interpretation?

    Marshall…

    I have no issue with wiping out entire populations if their armies refuse to cease aggressive campaigns despite our best efforts to reason with them through diplomacy or if lesser military actions fails to sway them. At some point, there could indeed be a need to annihilate their entire population.

    Again, you all call me heretical and immoral when you have views like this??

    Love thy enemies,
    do good to those who persecute you,
    turn the other cheek,
    overcome evil with good…
    WIPE OUT WHOLE POPULATIONS, including children and infants…

    WHICH statement does not fit with the others in a rational human being?

    ~Dan

    • Love thy enemies,
      do good to those who persecute you,
      turn the other cheek,
      overcome evil with good…

      Trabue, and his ilk, love to twist these quips from Scripture. THEY ARE ABOUT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS – THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS!!!!

      And he still has no idea what an ad hominem attack is – oh, wait, he doesn’t call them that does he. He comes up with some vacuous term called “ad hom” and I’m not sure what that means.

      The stupidity of his analogy comes from not understanding that naming somewhat by an identifying feature is not an ad hominem attack, especially if it’s not in relation to an argument. And “liberal,” “heretic,” and “non-Christian” is part of his identity – identification features of who he is. I mean, if you called me a bagpiper, that wouldn’t be an ad hominem attack. If you called me a Christian, that wouldn’t be an ad hominem attack.. Somehow, though, if you call Trabue a non-Christian, that becomes an ad hominem attack. Trabue’s world is upside down and irrational.

  64. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Stupid question, unreasonable, irrational and immature.

    You were hinting at the notion that you may or may not support the idea of deliberately killing children and infants in a military action. I asked for a clarification for this rather incredible, immoral belief. HOW is the question seeking clarification stupid, unreasonable, irrational or immature?

    You all either ignore questions or attack them. What is WRONG with you people, that asking questions – especially simple questions seeking clarifications – can possibly be stupid or irrational? “Irrational…”? How does that claim even make any rational sense?

    “I’m not sure of Marshall’s position, I will ask him to clarify…”

    Although it’s a digression, I would LOVE to know what you’re thinking when you call a request to clarify, “irrational.”

    Lord, have mercy.

    ~Dan

  65. paynehollow says:

    Funny, Glenn, you respond to a reasonable point about your ad hom attacks with an ad hom attack. At least you’re consistent in your irrationality and logical fallacies.

    ~Dan

  66. OK, I’ll hold off on the polygamy idiocy until later, since the post’s topic is related to military action.

    “I don’t think taking a stand against killing babies is emotional. I think it is rational and moral as all of heaven.”

    No one’s taking a stand in defense of killing babies. We’re defending God’s right to end the lives of whomever He chooses, for whatever reason and by whatever means. We’re defending the notion that whatever God might want done by us can never be called “evil”, even if it is evil if we do it on our own volition. We’re defending the notion that if God commands someone to do the worst thing Dan Trabue could possibly imagine (raping and killing in a heinous manner a homosexual baby whilst raining down anti-homosexual epithets?), it cannot be an evil act because God commanded that it be done to suit whatever purpose He may have had in mind.

    “You all want to say that God MIGHT call you to kill babies and that doing so would be moral?”

    In all the many instances where you’ve posed this question in all its various incarnations, I don’t believe there has ever been one instance where anyone thought God “MIGHT” call us to kill anyone, much less babies. It is an irrational question given the fact that nothing in the previously stated belief rationally leads to this one being possible or likely.

    “At least I think you’ve got one thing right: You CAN’T understand why God might order such a thing…”

    This isn’t what was said. I’ll clarify: We totally understand why God commanded such things as the total annihilation of every living thing in a town or city because Scripture provides the explanation. Our position is that we wouldn’t need to understand an order from God in order to carry it out. Abraham didn’t understand why God would want him to sacrifice his son. He just carried it out confident that God’s reasons were His own and His desire to see it carried it out by Abraham was enough for Abraham to comply. Can you detect the lesson here? You judge the moral value of an act by how it affects your sensitivities. We’re judging it by Who commands it be done. Again, imagine the most heinous act. Evil if you do it because you want to….NOT evil if God tells you to do it. It’s just that simple.

    Once more, you go with the “hyperbole/metaphor/allegory” angle. But you fail to deliver on this score in any way but to assert it is the case. Not good enough. When Jesus tells us to hate our mothers, He is simply teaching us the pecking order of our devotion. That’s pretty clear to the average intellect. But what does God’s mandate to annihilate every living creature in a city stand for? You’ve yet to offer any alternative. And you can’t, because what you wish was allegory is an actual recording of the events describing God’s direct interaction with the Hebrews. The difference, also, between the hyperbole of Jesus in His preaching and the OT stories of war, is that by your reasoning, lies are written concerning God. If God would never have the Hebrews kill babies in war, the the OT authors are lying about God or about His nature is describing what didn’t occur in the manner they did. I mean, really, what code-book exists that would explain to the reader what the metaphor/allegory/hyperbole means as concerns the tales of battle in the OT?

    The truth of the matter is that you want the hippie, kumbaya-type God to be true and deny the wrathful, vengeful aspects of God’s nature. This is heretical and in the end you worship a god that does not exist, though you call him by the same name of God.

    Another thing about Jesus’ use of hyperbole. When He “commands” us to put out our eyes or cut off our hands, He ends with saying that it would be better to enter heaven without them than to keep them and risk damnation for sinning. That pretty much tells you right there what the point of the lesson is, which ISN’T to put out one’s own eye for lusting or cutting off one’s own hand for stealing. It also shows the lengths you will go to legitimize your distorted perception of Scriptural teaching.

    “Love thy enemies,
    do good to those who persecute you,
    turn the other cheek,
    overcome evil with good…
    WIPE OUT WHOLE POPULATIONS, including children and infants…

    WHICH statement does not fit with the others in a rational human being?”

    The last does not fit with the rest, but not for the reasons you wish were true. It doesn’t fit because unlike the others, it is not a general teaching about how we are to live our lives. The last is a direct command for a specific situation and not a moral teaching. Putting it with the rest is merely more evidence of your deceitful nature.

    Also, you seem to have a problem understanding how one could kill or just beat the crap out of one’s enemy while still loving him. You think that violence and killing is evil. This is absurd and not supported Biblically. Violence and killing could be the most appropriate way to deal with evil and not itself be evil. You totally have no comprehension of these concepts. OR, you distort them to perpetuate a preferred, but self-serving interpretation of Scripture.

  67. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    love to twist these quips from Scripture. THEY ARE ABOUT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS – THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS!!

    Is your “proof” of this, Glenn, that you think it is so, therefore, it is so? Or, what proof, what hard specific evidence is there that these lines and the dozens others like them are ONLY about individuals acting between individuals, not individuals acting in a governmental status?

    When the Bible condemns prostitution, is that wrong ONLY at the individual level, but at a governmental level – if gov’t is using prostitution to sneak out state secrets, for instance – is it okay, then? On what basis do you say, “THIS behavior is okay when the gov’t calls for it, but NOT okay when individuals do it freelance?”

    Because I have to say, I don’t think the text supports your hunch, dear brother.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I don’t know why I continue to bother with your foolishness except to expose it more and more.

      CONTEXT is what says those passages are about PERSONAL relationships. I realize you have a problem understanding context, because you demonstrate that with just about every mention you make about Scripture. And if you don’t like the context, you say it was allegory, or metaphor, or myths, etc.

      By the way, prostitution can never be on a “government level” A nation can’t have sex with another nation. All sexual relations are on a personal level. You really are as stupid as I thought!

  68. paynehollow says:

    So, be specific, Glenn. Make your case. WHAT contextual clues tell you that Jesus saying, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” that he is speaking ONLY at the individual level?

    Beyond that, if you are an individual working for the gov’t, are you not STILL an individual and individual rules still apply for you?

    You are saying that it is wrong to hate and kill your enemy at the personal level, but it is okay to hate and kill (or at least kill) your enemy if under the auspices of gov’t.

    Similarly, a gov’t could just as easily ask a person to prostitute themselves, to try to uncover secrets by engaging in sex with “the enemy…” So, by your measure, as long as it’s the gov’t asking you to do it, it’s not really wrong, because it’s not at the individual level.

    What is the difference between killing your enemy at the behest of your gov’t and engaging in manipulative sex at the behest of your gov’t? How about rape at the behest of your gov’t? Is there any limit to what you can do as long as the gov’t asks you, as an individual, to do it? On what basis?

    This is the mile high and wide hole in your argument. It’s selectively used, only to defend the killing of the enemy that you want to say is okay, but not the rape or sexual intercourse with the enemy.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I’m not wasting my time giving you a lesson on hermeneutics. You are unteachable and never admit your error. I have better things to do with my time than continue trying to teach a fool

  69. paynehollow says:

    In Luke 6, we find Jesus being harassed by the Jewish powers that be. The people of the time were harassed both by the Jewish and Roman powers that be. To THESE people, in general, Jesus said…

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    The reference to those who slap you on one cheek is almost certainly a reference to the Roman soldiers who kept the people in check. In another of the parallel passages, it says, “when someone slaps you on your right cheek,” a common “backhand” insult to underlings – the sort of slap you’d give a slave, designed to emphasize their subservient status. Additionally, another passage refers to “if someone asks you to carry a pack for one mile…” This is what Roman soldiers could do – force the commoners to carry their pack for a mile to make their job easier.

    This was a people familiar with oppression of a governmental enemy. It’s why you had the Zealots in the day, those who actively plotted revolution against the Roman oppressors and their Jewish puppet oppressors.

    Jesus command is a blanket command – “YOU WHO ARE LISTENING…” Those who are following Jesus are called to a different way, yes, at the individual level, but there is NOTHING in the context that says it’s at the individual level UNLESS the gov’t tells you to do it, but if the gov’t tells you to do it, then rape, murder, sex, lying, cheating… it’s all okay as long as the gov’t asks us to individually do it.

    Any evidence to support your case, or does it suffice to holler, “yer a fool and a heretic…” and then no need to support your claim?

    I defer to actual evidence, thanks.

    ~Dan

  70. Not so wide. Not so deep. Jesus refers to David taking priests’ food from the temple to feed his soldiers. That is, he not only stole food, he took food designated for God’s priests. The intention behind the theft mitigates the sinfulness of the theft. It is always “OK”, or better put, “tolerated by God”, to kill one’s enemies for any number of reasons that are not self-serving. For example, vengeance would not be a good reason, but to prevent one’s own death or the death of another is an obvious good. Killing is not evil, wicked or sinful. Why one kills might be, but why one kills might also be a certain good.

    So your whole line of questioning of Glenn regarding your list (love your enemies, etc.) is fallacious. All of Christ’s teachings are for the individual. That is to say, each who hears His teachings must take it as if Jesus was talking to each personally. This is easy to surmise given the fact that Jesus never speaks in terms of how groups should behave.

    Killing an enemy is not always wrong, if ever. But hey, you go ahead and feel free to take a bullet in the chest anytime one of your enemies feels so compelled.

  71. Polygamy. In the OT, God tolerated quite a bit. Jesus, in speaking of why we were created male and female, also speaks of divorce having been allowed by God because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. He tolerated divorce but never condoned it. And given the fact that divorce (except in cases of infidelity) and remarriage was held as adulterous, then obviously polygamy could not be regarded as anything but an adulterous act on the part of the man who takes a second wife.

    And I reiterate, all polygamous marriages in the O.T. are presented in such a manner as to expose them as disharmonious and unsatisfactory. If this is not so, provide an example from Scripture. And assuming that you will fail in this attempt, one must wonder why this would be so if not to indicate polygamy as tolerated rather than “accepted” or “condoned”.

  72. Dan,

    You’ve provided nothing but support for our position that the teachings of Jesus were to each of us as individuals. What’s more, no one is saying that evil is OK if by goverment decree alone. Please try to be honest in your representations of our positions.

  73. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    It is always “OK”, or better put, “tolerated by God”, to kill one’s enemies for any number of reasons that are not self-serving. For example, vengeance would not be a good reason, but to prevent one’s own death or the death of another is an obvious good. Killing is not evil, wicked or sinful. Why one kills might be, but why one kills might also be a certain good.

    ? Any support for that, or just your hunch? Sound rather hard-to-believe and not especially moral or biblical, to me.

    Marshall…

    So your whole line of questioning of Glenn regarding your list (love your enemies, etc.) is fallacious. All of Christ’s teachings are for the individual.

    Again, even if Jesus’ teachings are for individuals, why are individuals IN GOV’T not supposed to follow those teachings? If the gov’t tells you to do it, is it okay to rape? To molest children? To kill? To sleep with many people and cheat on your wife?

    Why is one rule (killing) mitigated for the individual working for the gov’t and not the others? Sounds like excuse-making rather than moral or biblical teaching.

    ~Dan

  74. paynehollow says:

    Beyond that, it sounds like you’re arguing that polygamy fits into a category of “sin, but sin that God USED to tolerate, but that God won’t tolerate any more…” Where is the biblical support for that? Where is polygamy EVEN ONE TIME called a sin? The closest I think you can come to finding anything like support for that is the NT rule that church elders (not everyone, but elders in particular) are to be the “husband of one wife…” but as you can see, that is not calling polygamy a sin.

    And IF you think that polygamy is a sin, but one that was tolerated, why isn’t killing babies of the enemy also considered a sin that was tolerated, but is no longer? Where is the Biblical support for ANY of this?

    Marshall…

    What’s more, no one is saying that evil is OK if by goverment decree alone.

    If I am not mistaken, you are arguing that killing your enemy, if done by an individual violates Jesus command to love our enemies, to return evil with good, to turn the other cheek, etc. BUT, if the gov’t orders it, then it’s okay to not only kill the enemy, but to kill the children of the enemy. I think that is what John is saying and you are saying, too. That is why you point to these commands about how we treat the enemy and say, “look, it’s for an individual…” (not that you’re supporting that hunch, either, but that’s what you’re saying.

    I’m asking, IF it is okay for the individual to kill the enemy WHEN it’s done on behalf of a gov’t, then why is it not okay to rape the enemy? To sleep with the enemy?

    What is your biblical reasoning why one can do one otherwise-sin and not the others?

    Pardon my saying, but you all appear to be pulling all sorts of rules out of your derriere, not the Bible. I don’t see how you can reach your opinions biblically, even if you treat the Bible like a rule book (which is the wrong way to approach Bible study, anyway).

    Marshall…

    If this is not so, provide an example from Scripture.

    Gideon was a polygamist and I don’t recall any stories about it negatively affecting him. Moses was a polygamist and his brother and sister were punished for talking bad about the second wife, I seem to recall.

    Beyond that, marriage with one man/one woman is also described in the Bible in various examples as sometimes tumultuous, so the fact that marriage can be rocky is not evidence of sin.

    You do not have a single passage from the Bible condemning polygamy, so why is it wrong? And why do you hold this “It was tolerated, but wrong then, but now it’s not even tolerated” position when there is zero biblical support for it?

    ~Dan

  75. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    I’m not wasting my time giving you a lesson on hermeneutics. You are unteachable and never admit your error.

    And so, completely unable to defend your case evidentially, you’re settling on more ad homs and false witness attacks?

    That’s fine, I couldn’t defend your position either. That’s why, in the real world, I had to admit my error and change my position. (Which of course, undermines the false charge that I “never” admit errors, but then, we knew that was demonstrably false, didn’t we).

    If you would ever like to talk about facts and evidence and actually make a case for your “position” (that “position” appearing to be “I know what I know with no evidence whatsoever and no one can change my opinion and anyone who disagrees must hate God…”), just let me know.

    Have a blessed holiday season in the meantime, full of the peace, joy and wonder of Christ our Lord.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      Yes, I have plenty of proof or your errors, but as I said, it would be a waste of time since you have been proven to be unteachable – a fool. Feel free to think what you do – but I’m following the proverb about not answering a fool according to his folly.

      • Dan

        Since your view runs counter to about 1950 years of virtual consensus, do you think that the Christian and Jewish believers were wrong since the books of the bible were penned? For example, none of your interpretations were adopted in the time the authors were still living, so wouldn’t that suggest you’re wrong on this?

  76. paynehollow says:

    Your proof for this, John?

    And “since my view runs counter…” My view on what, specifically? At this point, I’m not sure what you are referencing. But, if you are referencing the belief that God sometimes will command people to rape or kill babies because we find biblical text that – taken the way you are taking it but only partially – suggests God commands this, then, no, I don’t think so. First of all, I’m not sure that your hunch about opinion for the last 1900 years is correct.

    Regardless, folk at the time no doubt didn’t think slavery, polygamy or a sexist society was wrong, so that is hardly a reliable measure, IF it were demonstrated that your claim is correct.

    So, no, that people 4,000 years ago believed that sexism, killing the children of the enemy, slavery or polygamy were acceptable, this is NOT proof that I’m morally mistaken.

    ~Dan

  77. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    I have plenty of proof or your errors, but as I said, it would be a waste of time

    Right, why start supplying “proof” now, when it’s so much easier to just call me names and make claims that are demonstrably false?

    ~Dan

    • Right, why start supplying “proof” now, when it’s so much easier to just call me names and make claims that are demonstrably false?

      What a joke! Any claim I make as to what the Bible says would be 100% accurate. Of course you never accept accurate reading of Scripture, and always say it’s false. Wow, and I’m supposed to waste my time for you to again say it’s false.

      I call you not “names,” but I describe what you are as demonstrated by your stated beliefs and teachings. You are a liberal when it comes to religion and politics. You are a heretic when it comes to the Christian faith. And you are a fool with it comes to your being unteachable.

      No go cry yourself to sleep.

  78. paynehollow says:

    If you’ve been following what I’ve actually said, I have pointed to passages where Israel was “told by God” to kill the families and babies, but they could spare the virgin daughters to take home and forcibly wed them. “Forcibly wed” = rape, at least for most people.

    If you had a loved one who was abducted by enemy forces and she was forced to wed and bed her captors, what would you call it?

    If you prefer “forcibly wed” instead of rape, that’s fine with me. But, to me, they’re one in the same, I see no distinction.

    You aren’t suggesting, are you, that these young women/virgin daughters whose families were killed by Israel’s armies who were taken back to Israel and married to an Israeli, that it was with her permission and at her desire? That would truly strain credulity, if so, and raise serious doubts about your ability to accurately read texts.

    ~Dan

    • Dan, are the arranged marriages of the East also rape?

    • In those days it was not a usual or common practice for a woman to agree to a marriage, so in your logic all the women who were married by the choices of their fathers, etc, were forcibly wed and raped.

      You refuse to accept the explanations which have been given to you, and which have been understood forever. The women were taken and married to protect them – to give THEM security and protection. They were not held liable for the sins of the groups who were to be wiped out.

      Your calling it “rape” puts you right with the atheists and their ignorance with their talking points. If you were truly a Christian you would know better.

      And you wonder why I call you unteachable.

  79. paynehollow says:

    Forced sexual intercourse is rape, I think, regardless of culture.

    I’ve answered your question, now answer mine, please: Do YOU think forced sexual intercourse – as in an unwanted, arranged marriage – is the same as rape and clearly wrong?

    Now, having said that, I know that some cultures accept and promote arranged marriages. I’m not criticizing the concept as long as all parties are willing and agreeable.

    In cultures where the woman is not willing but is forced to and goes along out of societal pressure, I don’t know that I’d call it rape, but it certainly comes close to it. Do you disagree?

    Glenn…

    In those days it was not a usual or common practice for a woman to agree to a marriage, so in your logic all the women who were married by the choices of their fathers, etc, were forcibly wed and raped.

    The KEY WORD in your statement there, Glenn, is “for a woman to AGREE to a marriage…” If consent is there, then it isn’t rape. IF THERE IS NO CONSENT, it is, by definition, rape. Do you truly disagree?

    If so, do you all not see why your wing of the political spectrum is considered anti-woman?

    Lord have mercy!

    The crazy just gets more evil from there. Glenn continued…

    The women were taken and married to protect them – to give THEM security and protection. They were not held liable for the sins of the groups who were to be wiped out.

    The virgin girls were not held liable for the “sins” of the enemy, but the babies were?? Do you see how crazy that reasoning sounds?

    And these young women – WHOSE FAMILIES had just been slaughtered by Israelite armies, their young baby brothers and sisters killed along with their parents! – were then taken from their home and forced into a marriage with the people WHO JUST KILLED THEIR FAMILIES!! to “protect” them!

    DO you not see how incredibly misogynistic and oppressive and damnably EVIL that line of thinking is?!

    God have mercy on your souls, men. Will NO ONE here step up to this sort of evil and denounce it as the evil it is?!

    Sheee-it!

    ~Dan

    • What evidence do you have that there is forced sex in the marriages?

    • Trabue

      Cultures around the world married off daughters without the daughter consent. It was the norm. And they YOU say it is rape. SInce they were married, whether the woman consented or not, then the husband having intercourse with his wife was not raping her.

      The babies would grow up wanting vengeance on their people and would likely follow the same paganism. God in his mercy took the babies to be with HIM.

      DO you not see how incredibly misogynistic and oppressive and damnably EVIL that line of thinking is?!

      God provided a way of life for the captured virgins, who were not held liable for the sins of her people. For you to say this is misogynistic and evil demonstrates again that you have made a god of your liking. You want to take today’s cultural norms and anachronistically apply it to thousands of years ago.

      If so, do you all not see why your wing of the political spectrum is considered anti-woman?

      So, in YOUR stupidity and foolishness, and blasphemy of God, you think that “[our] wing of the political spectrum is considered anti-woman?”
      First, you come up with a nebulous “wing” which you accuse us of being a part of. Secondly, the current political establishment could care less how we understand what happened thousands of years ago. The problem of the LEFT, such as you, see two issues with Christians:
      1. We are anti-abortion, and hence considered anti-woman.
      2. We believe that God gave roles for the woman in the church (not in leadership) and in the home (submission to husbands) and they consider this anti-woman.

      You just continue to demonstrate the reason we say you can’t be a Christian. You continue to demonstrate your low view of Scripture and your own made up god. And you remain unteachable and stupidly arrogant.

  80. paynehollow says:

    How about a simple direct answer to the question I asked you already:

    IF you loved someone and HER family was killed by “the enemy” and she was taken from her home and forced to wed and bed one of the soldiers who killed her family, would you NOT call that the rape that it is?

    Are you entirely spineless, men?

    Again, Good God, have mercy on their souls!

    ~Dan

  81. Let’s look at the passage itself:

    “if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.” Deut 21:11 NIV

    This rendering shows that God is tolerating, not condoning or commanding, the taking of the woman.

    “and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife;” Deut 21:11 ASV

    This rendering indicates that the desire to take the woman already exists as opposed to it having been commanded as Dan suggests.

    Looking over several renderings and comparing them all, it is difficult at best, if not wholly impossible, to conclude that God is commanding or encouraging the taking of women following the victory of battle. What verses 10-14 so show, is God telling the people how it should be done with a marked concern for the woman over the desire of the soldier. The only explanation that makes sense concerning why this input from God concerning the taking of women should even exist is that the way it was done to this point was likely quite oppressive and brutal. This new understanding declared by the Lord mitigates the behavior of the Israeli soldiers—a first step toward doing away with the practice.

    So, Dan. You can 86 the “God commanded rape” crap. As to “killing babies”, try some ACTUAL serious study to find out why God would command that the Israelites should totally wipe out an entire community, man, woman AND child. Then try to make a case that either that or the taking of women is something that can be rationally taken to be applicable for today’s Christian. However, keep in mind that the tactic of wiping out all of the enemy’s people, or a large segment of them, including civilians, has an appropriate application. That is, appropriate for those who have any shred of love or care for their own people and families.

    • It doesn’t say by force. It says they may take a wife. It’s ambiguous . It could mean that they are allowed to marry one. Remember they weren’t allowed to take for wives non-Israelites. This could have been an allowance for marrying outside the nation.

  82. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    SInce they were married, whether the woman consented or not, then the husband having intercourse with his wife was not raping her.

    Oh my Lord, have mercy! Are you all SEEING this?!

    ~Dan

    • Yes, Trabue, we are all seeing this.

      Again, your “horror” is your trying to apply 21st century cultural ideas to cultural ideas of thousands of years ago.

      You are such an unteachable, foolish man.

  83. paynehollow says:

    Hold on, let’s clear things up…

    So, are you saying that, while today it is clearly a horrifyingly immoral evil to force your “wife” (ie, kidnapped virgin enemy daughter) to have “sex” – that such behavior TODAY IS rape – but 4000 years ago, it was neither rape nor wrong?

    I have not applied modern mores to any culture, I’m talking about behavior today. TODAY, it is an evil called “rape” to force your wife to have sex against her wishes. Are we agreed on that?

    Beyond that, aren’t you all the ones who say God and morals never change, but it SEEMS like you all are hinting around that polygamy wasn’t “really” that wrong back then, it was just frowned upon, but not really a sin, and that forcing a virgin enemy daughter into marriage back then wasn’t rape, but it is today.

    How about some straightforward clarifications?

    Do God’s “rules” change/is what was “sin” back then still sin, or do sins change by culture?

    If so, which ones and on what do you all base this wavering morality?

    TODAY, Is forced sex – even if it is with a wife – rape?

    BACK THEN, was polygamy a sin? If so, where is your support for that idea?

    ~Dan

    • So, are you saying that, while today it is clearly a horrifyingly immoral evil to force your “wife” (ie, kidnapped virgin enemy daughter) to have “sex” – that such behavior TODAY IS rape – but 4000 years ago, it was neither rape nor wrong?

      This is why it is so frustrating to deal with Trabue. And why he’s such a waste of time.

      It has only been in our modern culture of feminazis which has taught women that they do not have to have sex with their husbands. It is only our modern culture of porn which leads men to force their wives into sex abusively. Put those two things together and you have what is now known as “marital rape.”

      I don’t think men abused women like that in Israel, because Israel was God’s people. And women always submitted to sexual relations because it was expected. Whether or not you want to call that wrong, it just is and was. You can’t then say that the abusive and feminist culture we have created today can be used to examine practices thousands of years ago.

      Even Paul told the wife that her body was her husband’s and that she was not to deny him, and that the body of the husband belonged to the woman and he was not to deny her. Of course Paul also told the woman to submit to her husband as she would to Jesus, and the husband was told to love his wife as Jesus loved the church. Liberals also have trouble with these passages, but if everyone obeyed such commands, our culture would not be suffering such an epidemic of divorce.

      I have not applied modern mores to any culture, I’m talking about behavior today. TODAY, it is an evil called “rape” to force your wife to have sex against her wishes. Are we agreed on that?

      But we weren’t talking about behavior TODAY, were we? Trabue raised a straw man.

      Beyond that, aren’t you all the ones who say God and morals never change, but it SEEMS like you all are hinting around that polygamy wasn’t “really” that wrong back then, it was just frowned upon, but not really a sin, and that forcing a virgin enemy daughter into marriage back then wasn’t rape, but it is today.

      Trabue’s whole premise is wrong.

      I’m done Trabue’s foolishness. Have fun guys; I just don’t have the time for such blatant stupidity. I’m unsubscribing from this post.

  84. paynehollow says:

    While waiting for (hopefully) your clarification, let me clarify MY position. Where Glenn says…

    You want to take today’s cultural norms and anachronistically apply it to thousands of years ago.

    No, I do not. I don’t believe in holding ancient cultures to modern moral values and norms. For one thing, it’s pointless. That culture is dead and gone. But for another thing, it truly was a different time and culture and I’m not saying ancient cultures were “wrong” or “right” for holding slaves, for being oppressive, for their warring techniques, etc.

    I will and do say that, by modern standards of morality, these are horribly immoral actions.

    I will and do say that, IF someone were advocating these behaviors today, we would rightly call it immoral and evil.

    But it’s just pointless to judge cultures centuries gone by modern moral standards.

    Clearly, I do NOT hold ancient cultures to modern moral standards. Never said it, don’t believe it.

    No, this all came up because John raised the question/made the point…

    none of you find it strange that Jesus condoned and aided the Israelite armies during its growth and retaking of its given land.

    To which I responded, in various ways, that these ancient morals were not something we should emulate simply because they were found in Biblical stories. John excoriated me, suggesting I hate God because I do not find these behaviors to be moral.

    I was and am CLEARLY saying this: These behaviors are clearly wrong, immoral and evil TODAY. These are NOT behaviors that we should hold up as ideal, simply because we find them in the Bible.

    My point was EXACTLY the opposite of holding ancient cultures up to modern moral values: I was saying we should not base modern moral values on all the behaviors we happen to find in the Bible, if we would endorse polygamy, killing children of our enemies and forced marriages/rape.

    (And, as a point of clarification: I’m saying “FORCED” marriages – as in, against someone’s will – not “ARRANGED” marriages, which can be consented to.)

    I await your clarifications.

    ~Dan

  85. paynehollow says:

    John…

    It says they may take a wife. It’s ambiguous . It could mean that they are allowed to marry one.

    Again: IF you had a beloved teenage friend who lived in another nation and her family was killed by their “enemy” in a war raid and, after killing her family, one soldier takes her home with him and tells him “You are now my wife!” and they marry and he began to engage in sex with her, are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that it’s “ambiguous” that this teenager would consent to sex with the man who killed her family and abducted her away from her homeland?

    It’s NOT “marriage” if the virgin girl is a kidnapped orphan daughter of the enemy, it’s forced marriage. Would you call it a legitimate marriage if it happened to a friend today?

    Marshall…

    vThis rendering shows that God is tolerating, not condoning or commanding, the taking of the woman.

    Are you saying that abducting a virgin daughter and forcing her into marriage WAS a sin, but one that God tolerated? Or was it not really a sin, but just sort of wrong and God tolerated it? Does God still tolerate it?

    This whole “tolerated” sin category that you appear to be adding to the Bible is intriguing. Where do you get the idea that there is a new category of behaviors – sin, “tolerated sin” and good behavior? Do you have ANY biblical support or is this entirely something you have dreamed up?

    Let’s look at Deut 21…

    “When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”

    So, your take on this forced marriage/rape arrangement is that God thought it was a sin – but a “tolerated sin” – but God put into place all these rules about how to go about engaging in this sin?

    If you believe there is a category of “tolerated sins,” what is that list? Are they still tolerated? When did that change? Is there ANY biblical support for the idea of “tolerated sin…,” “tolerated” rape? “Tolerated” murder?

    If so, where?

    ~Dan

  86. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    The only explanation that makes sense concerning why this input from God concerning the taking of women should even exist is that the way it was done to this point was likely quite oppressive and brutal. This new understanding declared by the Lord mitigates the behavior of the Israeli soldiers—a first step toward doing away with the practice.

    That is ONE explanation. Not a biblical one, but it IS an explanation.

    But there’s also the explanation that these texts aren’t supposed to be taken as a rulebook on how to deal with enemies, nor as a literal history showing how sometimes in some situations, God commands people to kill babies and gives rules about how to do forced marriages in a less-evil manner.

    That is also an explanation and it seems entirely plausible to me.

    But going back to this opinion, would this qualify as a “progressive revelation” stance? That God only revealed God’s Self partially earlier in human history and made God’s own Self and Will more and more “revealed” as history progressed? I DO think that a case can be made for this, theologically/philosophically, if not biblically, exactly. And that is a rather progressive stance to take, IS it the stance you are taking?

    IF so, then where do you draw the line on where God stops making God’s Self better known? Did it end with Jesus’ resurrection? The first decades of the Christian church?

    If God is progressively revealing God’s Self to the World, then why not include the notion that slavery is wrong in the mix? Why not include the notion that women are equal humans, not subservient to men? Why not include the notion that marriage is an obvious good, for gay folk as well as straight folk?

    Where do you draw the line on this progressive revelation and why? Is there any line found biblically or is your drawing of a line entirely arbitrary?

    ~Dan

  87. paynehollow says:

    ???!!!

    John, IF a soldier comes in and kllls your loved one’s family and then politely asks the orphaned teen daughter, “Would you care to go with me back to my country, where we could live in wedded bliss…?” DO YOU REALLY think the answer is going to be “Yes, I’d love to and I consent to this arrangement!”

    The text in Deut 21 makes clear it was forced… “Since she was married to you under compulsion.”

    Are you arguing that this is speaking of a consensual marrying to the soldier that killed the girl’s family??

    What are you talking about?

    You all sound incredibly eager to defend the worst sort of immorality, but I can’t believe that is really your intent. How about clarifying by answering some of these simple questions I’ve asked?

    ~Dan

  88. paynehollow says:

    John, it says “Take a wife without her consent.” Or literally, “Under compulsion.”

    We can all agree it does not literally say “kidnap.” It LITERALLY says, “under compulsion.”

    What is the definition of “kidnap,” I wonder?

    Merriam Webster defines it this way, “To take away (someone) by force.”

    Is “under compulsion” NOT synonymous to “by force…”?

    If you prefer, I’ll refer to it as a marriage where the virgin daughters were taken under compulsion into a marriage. Does that make a difference?

    I still have to wonder, John: Are you so hateful of women that even if a loved one were “taken by compulsion” into a marriage not of their choice and into sex not of their choice, WOULD YOU NOT STAND UP against that behavior?

    Because you are beginning to sound sympathetic to rapists and molesters. Take a stand, John. Be a real man. SAY that “marriage by compulsion” is clearly evil.

    Can you not do that? You’re starting to worry me.

    ~Dan

    • Ok, so I’m hateful of women because I don’t think God is an evil monster for allowing something like this, but outing you as a heretic is ad hom? You’re a joke at best, a troll at worst.

  89. Dan,

    First of all, your an asshole for suggesting that we are”Incredibly eager to defend the worst sort of immorality”. I know for you this sounds like another “ad hom”, but I find it a fitting appellation for one who insists on spinning our positions as you do.

    “Are you saying that abducting a virgin daughter and forcing her into marriage WAS a sin, but one that God tolerated?”

    What I am saying was perfectly clear the first, second and third time I’ve tried to explain it. I’ve been saying that, in contradiction to your idiotic interpretation, God did NOT “command” that the Hebrews take ANY captive woman to be his wife. He was tolerating the behavior that was already going on and verses 10-14 show how He mitigated the practice for the sake of the woman taken. This is clear from the passage itself, unless you are some asshole looking to trap right thinking Christians into surrendering truth to your idiocies. I ask again, why would God bother with the instructions within this passage if the practice was NOT already one that was routine for soldiers? Would you dare suggest that the Hebrews might not have taken hot babes as spoils of war, or that perhaps they treated them better than the manner in which God’s instructions suggest?

    “If you believe there is a category of “tolerated sins,” what is that list? Are they still tolerated? When did that change? Is there ANY biblical support for the idea of “tolerated sin…,””

    “Matthew 19:8
    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”

    While divorce, particularly for reasons Jesus regarded as justified, doesn’t necessarily equate to sin, it is not in accord with God’s purpose for creating males and females. (What one does after a divorce, however, can indeed be sinful) But the above verse does show a tolerance for that which does NOT conform with God’s purpose. Polygamy is another act that does not conform. Both of the these were tolerated. This does not create a category of “tolerated sins”, which is good since no one here was suggesting such a thing.

    So far, what we have here is another example of what Craig has mentioned several times: that Dan will argue against something we do not support (often while ignoring the specific point or our arguments or responses). No one here has tried to justify taking a woman captive in battle and then marrying her, by force or otherwise. No one here is suggesting that anyone, including God Himself, views such a thing as “good”.

    As to the sinfulness or “wrongness” of polygamy, it is incredibly obvious why one could legitimately regard it as sinful (and thus a sinful practice tolerated by God, rather than just a different form of marriage condoned or sanctioned or accepted by Him). The plan calls for one man and one woman uniting to become one flesh. Consummating a marriage accomplishes this plan. Intercourse without the benefit of marriage does as well. Except for situations arising from infidelity, to marry (or have intercourse with) a divorced woman is adultery. This is because that woman is already united as one flesh with the husband she divorced. For a man to marry a second woman while still married to the first is therefor also adultery and thus, polygamy is sinful. This isn’t a hard line to follow for one who isn’t trying to use polygamy as a legitimate example of an alternative definition of marriage, so as to justify calling unions of same-sex partners “marriage”.

    Is there anything left to explain to you Dan? Or do you have any other idiotic questions that distort our positions? Perhaps another that seeks to force us to reject truth in favor of your twisted and heretical understandings? (Why would anybody inevitably ban you from posting on their blog?—rhetorical)

  90. paynehollow says:

    I asked Marshall, and everyone else here…

    “Are you saying that abducting a virgin daughter and forcing her into marriage WAS a sin, but one that God tolerated?”

    Marshall responded…

    I’ve been saying that, in contradiction to your idiotic interpretation, God did NOT “command” that the Hebrews take ANY captive woman to be his wife.

    As you can see, I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING about God “commanding” a behavior. Rather, I ASKED YOU A SIMPLE QUESTION, one you still have not answered. Nor has John.

    Do you see how troubling this is? I’m trying to get simple answers to what SHOULD be an incredibly simple question. DO you think that “forced marriage” WAS a sin, but one that God tolerated? IF you don’t think so, then the answer is NO, it was not a sin, but it was not great behavior God tolerated. OR, if you DO think so, then the answer is YES, it was a sin, but God tolerated it.

    Marshall…

    No one here has tried to justify taking a woman captive in battle and then marrying her, by force or otherwise. No one here is suggesting that anyone, including God Himself, views such a thing as “good”.

    I have NOT suggested this. Rather, I have kept trying to get some clarification from you all. No clarification is coming thus far. I am just starting to wonder why in the world you can’t answer these questions?

    1. Was “forced marriages” a sin back then?
    2. Isn’t a forced marriage, at least today, comparable to rape?
    3. If so, isn’t that forced marriage a sin today?
    4. If not, why not?
    5. If someone killed the family of a loved one, then took her home and forced her into a marriage, having sex with the man who killed her family against her will… would you NOT agree that this is a horrible crime and a monstrous sin, today?
    6. Was polygamy a sin back then? If so, on what do you base this, since the Bible never calls it a sin? And since God even “gave” David his many wives and would have given him more!?

    Marshall…

    The plan calls for one man and one woman uniting to become one flesh.

    WHAT plan? You all act as if God has set out a perfectly defined path for marriage in the Bible, but that has not happened. You all act as if God said, “Here is the definition of marriage…” that THAT has not happened.

    Yes, in Genesis, there is a line saying, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” but there is nothing in that line (which comes from a mythic sounding storytelling passage) that says, “And there shall be ONLY one man and ONLY one woman.” That is an add on you all on to what is there.

    Marshall, you said bot this…

    This does not create a category of “tolerated sins”, which is good since no one here was suggesting such a thing.

    And this…

    As to the sinfulness or “wrongness” of polygamy, it is incredibly obvious why one could legitimately regard it as sinful (and thus a sinful practice tolerated by God, rather than just a different form of marriage

    Do you SEE how it seems you are suggesting there is a category of “tolerated sins”?

    Instead of a lot of accusations and talking, can you just answer the questions asked in a straightforward manner?

    ~Dan

  91. paynehollow says:

    John…

    so I’m hateful of women because I don’t think God is an evil monster for allowing something like this, but outing you as a heretic is ad hom?

    I didn’t say that you were hateful because you don’t think God is a monster… I ASKED you a question: WILL YOU agree that forced marriage – sex against a woman’s will – is wrong and a sin TODAY?

    Why is that question hard to answer?

    Do you think it was NOT a sin back then?

    If you DO think it was a sin back then, do you think God commands people to commit what would otherwise be sins?

    Straight answers, please. Stop dodging these reasonable questions and just answer them.

    Thanks.

    Dan

  92. paynehollow says:

    Yes, and that is NOT what you said my question was.

    My entire question (repeated in exasperation when you repeatedly would not answer/HAVE not answered the nicer question directly) was…

    Are you so hateful of women that even if a loved one were “taken by compulsion” into a marriage not of their choice and into sex not of their choice, WOULD YOU NOT STAND UP against that behavior?

    The nicer version, repeated several times is

    Can we agree that forced marriages (or forcing women in a marriage to have sex against their will) are wrong – that they are sinful – today?

    I’m working on the assumption that you and I and everyone here is reasonable and can agree to this obvious question, but no one is stepping up and making it clear. Indeed, you have Glenn saying “SInce they were married, whether the woman consented or not, then the husband having intercourse with his wife was not raping her.”

    I’m asking for a simple clarification. Why not simply clarify with a direct and clear answer?

    ~Dan

  93. Whew! Go away for a handful of days and you people write an entire book’s worth of comments.

    I think it is safe to say that you have proven what Richard Dawkins observed about the Old Testament god of war:

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
    http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3044365-the-god-delusion

    Needless to say, the mountain god of the Israelite tribes committed many sins worthy of nonexistence and thoroughly justifying the atheism which has gained ascendancy throughout Western civilization.

    To such a god I say: good riddance!

    As to Jesus’ relationship to such a god, I recommend that everyone read Reza Aslan’s “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” ( http://rezaaslan.com/books/ ).
    I just finished reading this particular book on Sunday and recommend it to everyone: Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists and agnostics.

    There is no such thing as a “God of peace” and Christianity is a religion of warfare which has covered the Earth in blood. “Love your neighbor” and “love your enemy” and “bless those who curse you” and “turn the other cheek”: These are pretty words which Christians boast about but never follow.

  94. paynehollow says:

    John…

    How do I argue with someone who professes to be a Christian and also says God is evil?

    How about, “Honestly…”? Read my words and understand, John.

    I HAVE NEVER SAID GOD IS EVIL. NOT ONE TIME.

    I DO NOT BELIEVE GOD IS EVIL. THAT IS A RIDICULOUS ACCUSATION.

    Do you NOW understand my actual position? See how easy it is to clarify things?

    WHY will you all not simply clarify what should be an astoundingly simple thing to clarify? I have to believe that you all agree with me, but your continued reluctance to answer a simple question begins to make me wonder.

    Glenn…

    But we weren’t talking about behavior TODAY, were we? Trabue raised a straw man.

    The ENTIRE premise of John’s post is speaking about war and peace TODAY. Try to follow the conversation, Glenn. How about answering a question asked of you, Glenn:

    IS it wrong TODAY for a husband to force his married wife to have sex against her will? IS it wrong TODAY to capture an enemy daughter and forcibly take her home and marry her by compulsion, against her will – is THAT a sin TODAY?

    I’m beginning to think I’m dealing with crazy hedonists, if you can’t even come out with a simple agreement like this: It is WRONG to force a person to have sex against her will, married or not. Such behavior is horribly SINFUL, akin to rape. I am amazed that you all appear unwilling to clarify this. IF someone was saying something so incredibly wrong about me (like that I think God is evil) or even asking a question about my position on such a topic, I’d very quickly clarify. Easy, no problem. NO, I do NOT think that!

    I suspect the reason you all are simply refusing to address the question is because you know that the reasonable and moral answer begins to undermine your take on the Bible and morality. Answering this question begins to unravel your whole position on how to read the Bible so, rather than answering the question, you engage in ad hom attacks and just ignore it, making demonstrably false straw man arguments against positions I don’t hold.

    More on that, later…

    David…

    There is no such thing as a “God of peace” and Christianity is a religion of warfare which has covered the Earth in blood. “Love your neighbor” and “love your enemy” and “bless those who curse you” and “turn the other cheek”: These are pretty words which Christians boast about but never follow.

    Certainly, not every Christian tradition has honored those pretty words, but Christians throughout the ages certainly have. For the first ~300 years, the church lived out these words and Christianity was certainly NOT a religion of warfare. Off and on, throughout the ages, there have been Christians who held tightly to Jesus’ teachings on Peace. For the last ~500 years, the anabaptists and others have held very tightly to Jesus’ teachings on peace – and that, at great personal cost!

    So, while certain Christian groups have often failed to live up to these teachings, this is demonstrably not true for All of Christianity.

    ~Dan

  95. Hello Glenn Chatfield,

    Reza Aslan knows a lot more about Jesus & the Bible than you will ever learn. But if you insist upon reading a Christian scholar with the same message, suit yourself:

    John Dominic Crossan “The Birth of Christianity”
    http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061978159

    Doubtless this is a book available at the library. Read and educate yourself.

    • Crossan is at the far left end of mainstream NT scholarship. To hold him up as a pinnacle of authority is to mistake his position in the NT scholarship community.

      Aslan, has been shown to be very mistaken in many of his claims.

    • Damn, I forgot to hit the unsubscribe while digging through mountains of e-mail.

      David, Aslan is nothing but a liar. His credentials are exaggerated, and his story is pure fabrication.

      Crossan is a rank heretic and is not given any credence by legitimate scholars

      CHRISTIANS are not violent, nor have they ever been. People who CALL themselves Christians and who practice violence do so against Christian teachings. And before you bring up the lie about the Crusades, most of the crusaders were mercenaries, which is why there was some violence. But the warfare was against Islam and if it wasn’t for the Crusades you’d be under sharia law right now.

      Your assertions about the early Christians’ behavior is just that – assertions.

      Now I need to immediately is to unsubscribe from this string because it is filling my inbox with garbage and idiocy from Trabue.

  96. Hello Payne Hollow,

    “Certainly, not every Christian tradition has honored those pretty words, but Christians throughout the ages certainly have. For the first ~300 years, the church lived out these words and Christianity was certainly NOT a religion of warfare. Off and on, throughout the ages, there have been Christians who held tightly to Jesus’ teachings on Peace. For the last ~500 years, the anabaptists and others have held very tightly to Jesus’ teachings on peace – and that, at great personal cost!”

    The Christians during the first 300 years of the church’s existence weren’t exactly peaceful. The early Christians were every bit as violent as their modern day counterparts. They lacked political power, though, and therefore their violence was limited to criminal behavior and mob violence.

    As to the behavior of the Anabaptist: Good for them. Too bad the remaining 98% of Christianity spent those 500 years killing each other and everyone else who happened to encounter them throughout the world.

    Christianity is not a religion of peace. Never was, never shall be.

  97. Hello Glenn Chatfield,

    You say: “David, Aslan is nothing but a liar. His credentials are exaggerated, and his story is pure fabrication.”

    In saying so, you are wrong and revealing the depth of your own ignorance and prejudice.

    You say, “Crossan is a rank heretic and is not given any credence by legitimate scholars”

    That’s a lie, nothing more. John Dominic Crossan is a scholar of international rank.

  98. Hello John,

    You can say whatever you wish about John Dominic Crossan. I’ve read his books and he is scholarly in his approach to the Bible and history. He is also correct.

    I’ve read Reza Aslan’s book and he is also correct.

    I’ve read Bart Ehrman’s books ( http://www.bartdehrman.com/ ) and he is also correct.

    These people represent mainstream Biblical scholarship as it exist in the 20th – 21st century. Fundamentalist scholarship was refuted and failed approximately 200 years ago.

    • I’m sorry, david. But Ehrman, Crossan, and Aslan are not mainstream. They give the impression that they are because they write popular books and are asked to speak, but they are not in agreement with the majority in the field. I don’t know what else to say about it.

  99. Hello John,

    Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan and Reza Aslan are correct … and that is all that matters from a scholarly standpoint. Those people whom you regard as trustworthy are in error.

    The Bible is a fallible book and it is filled with errors. Scholars have known this for over 250 years. The controversy was settled a long time ago.

    • What if I were to name conservative scholars on the issue and just say they are correcting you are wrong where do we go from there? You’re not offering arguments you are only making assertions and speculative statements

  100. Hello John,

    You cannot name nine conservative scholars on this particular issue and hope to win the argument. This particular issue was settled by scholarship a long time ago and there is no longer any argument available to conservatives on behalf of the refuted viewpoint.

    But if you want to make an argument and wish to site nine scholars on your own behalf, go ahead and do so. It is quite easy to refute false arguments even when they are presented by fundamentalist scholars.

    • So its settled because you and liberal scholars say it is? Then there isn’t any point in discussing anything. You just assert I’m wrong and it doesn’t matter what I say. So I have to bid you a good afternoon.

      I have to say, that’s pretty closed minded.

  101. Hello John,

    I offered you an opportunity to present your argument and provide whatever scholarship you wish In support of your viewpoint. That isn’t at all closed minded.

    If you have an argument you can speak, I will listen. But until you say something how can I possibly listen?

    Let’s hear the argument. Take as much time as you wish. Quote as many scholars as you wish. Utilize all the resources available to you. Once you’ve done so, I will read your comment and respond.

    Take as much time as you wish. I’m patient.

  102. paynehollow says:

    David…

    Christianity is not a religion of peace. Never was, never shall be.

    The world has never been a place of peace. People have always found ways of wanting to kill people. You are right that many Christians (the early church and anabaptists and their ilk, being the exceptions) are fully human in this manner.

    But the central messages of Christianity – the teachings of Jesus – are teachings of peace, love, mercy, love of enemy, grace, forbearance, love of humanity, care for the least of these – are indeed, demonstrably teachings of peace and love and justice. That Christians – like all other people – fall prone to the same bitterness and warmaking and strife as other people, does not take away from Jesus’ teachings and their timeless grace and wisdom.

    ~Dan

  103. paynehollow says:

    John…

    When you say that God commanded evil you are saying God is evil.

    Again, I DID NOT SAY THAT GOD COMMANDED EVIL.

    I have said that, the way YOU all read the Bible, it makes it appear as if God commands people to do evil. I DO NOT THINK THAT. I don’t read the Bible the way you all are reading it, at least on this point.

    Do you understand my actual position?

    You DO know that it is wrong – biblically and rationally – to bear false witness. You are doing this, repeatedly. I HAVE NOT said what you claimed I said. I DO NOT believe what you repeatedly claim I believe. I have corrected you. You still are repeating this false witness.

    What is wrong with you?

    And WHY won’t you answer some simple questions to clarify your positions?

    You will note that I am NOT saying “John believes we should rape women” and other things like that. Rather, I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you AGREE that forced marriages and forced sex are wrong, but I have asked you to clarify and you simply ignore the questions. If you THINK that I think God is evil, why don’t you follow my example and ask a clarifying question rather than make what turns out to be a false claim?

  104. Dan:

    I’ve been out of pocket for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve briefly replied to your last comment at the “Where’s the Wealth?” thread, and here I want to address the last comment you directed toward me.

    I hope you and everyone else will indulge my going back a few days in the conversation.

    It is my position that God is my literal creator, and your position is that God is my creator only in a figurative sense. I asked, then, what is the literal truth that this “figurative” language presents poetically?

    You did NOT fill-in-the-blanks as I requested, and your response doesn’t provide a clear answer to my question, but here’s your response in full, emphasis mine:

    God creates me in the sense that God is creator of all things, giver of all goods, that God created this world and shares in the creation process. HOW does God share in the creation process? Because God is LOVE. The love between people is what leads to creation of all sorts – creating homes, creating families, creating babies, adopting babies. God is the Creator of Love and we who are Beloved share in that love.

    “Same for Sustain.

    In what way did God literally create you? Create your soul? I could buy that, I guess, maybe… but it’s not provable. I might have to think about it. I mean, the Bible says nothing about God “creating souls…” so, where do you get that?

    “Maybe, maybe not. It’s a pretty hypothesis. I find my hypothesis (also unprovable) more solid and rational, to me.

    What could you possibly mean by saying, “God is creator of all things” if you’re not sure that God creates human souls? Does the soul not fit in the category of “all things”?

    There really doesn’t seem to be a reasonable figurative meaning that you attach to the claim. Instead, it seems that you affirm the phrase that is clearly and repeatedly taught, but what you really mean is the opposite — that God is NOT the Creator of all things.

    It’s like when you tried to say that you do believe that our salvation is caused by Christ’s death, in the sense that it was only a representation of God’s saving grace — that is, in the sense that our salvation ISN’T caused by Christ’s death. As I pointed out then, the basic formulation says one thing and means the exact opposite.

    You ought to say what you mean, so you can be clear about what you believe.

  105. paynehollow says:

    John…

    So then the authors of the bible lied when they said “and thus says the LORD…”. How can you trust any of it then?

    No, I DO NOT THINK that the authors of the Bible lied. Are you understanding that?

    When a piece of literature is written in a fiction or metaphorical style – myth, parable, poem, song, epic… whatever – any non-facts in that literature is NOT “a lie.” It is part of the story and the story is TRUE, true to itself. Thus, when Jesus told a parable about the foolish rich man who built bigger barns to store his stuff, it isn’t a “lie” that Jesus told to fool people into thinking that there was an actual specific rich man who built a bigger barn, it’s a story.

    So, how can we trust literature, that we can find truth in it? Well, either we do or we don’t find truth in literature. Truth IS Truth, regardless of the source. The important thing is striving to rightly understand the literary styles and conventions being used. If these texts in question are literal histories, told in the modern style, then that suggests one thing (and raises all sorts of questions that you all have yet to be able to answer). If it’s epic, or myth or allegory, that suggests something else.

    ~Dan

  106. Dan, I know this isn’t what I’ve been focusing on, but the irony is too noticeable to ignore.

    You write, emphasis in the original:

    Again, I DID NOT SAY THAT GOD COMMANDED EVIL.

    “I have said that, the way YOU all read the Bible, it makes it appear as if God commands people to do evil. I DO NOT THINK THAT. I don’t read the Bible the way you all are reading it, at least on this point.

    “Do you understand my actual position?

    “You DO know that it is wrong – biblically and rationally – to bear false witness. You are doing this, repeatedly. I HAVE NOT said what you claimed I said. I DO NOT believe what you repeatedly claim I believe. I have corrected you. You still are repeating this false witness.

    “What is wrong with you?

    What’s wrong with you, Dan? In its historical books, the Bible clearly and repeatedly claims that God commanded ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation. The Bible records divine judgment on Israel for not obeying that command, and (as I pointed out before) the psalmist who laments the shedding of innocent blood SIMULTANEOUSLY criticized Israel for not obeying the command to wipe out God’s enemies.

    (In Psalm 106:34-38, the two are causally connected: BECAUSE Israel didn’t destroy the nations “as the LORD commanded them” (v. 34), they mixed with the enemies, became ensnared in their idolatry, and participated in their pagan rites of child sacrifice, thereby shedding innocent blood.)

    The Bible says what it says, Dan.

    To claim that the Bible’s writers were not clear is to bear false witness against them.

    To claim that the Bible’s writers did not attribute these commands to God is to bear false witness to them.

    You DO know that it is wrong – biblically and rationally – to bear false witness. You are doing this, repeatedly. The Bible’s writers HAVE NOT said what you claimed they said. THEY DO NOT believe what you repeatedly claim they believe. We have corrected you. You still are repeating this false witness.

    The Bible unmistakably attributes to God the command to wage wars of annihilation, and we can respond in only so many ways.

    1. We can accept that attribution.

    2. We can accuse the Bible’s writers of bearing false witness against God: they said what they said, but what they said is false.

    3. We can ourselves bear false witness against the writers: they didn’t say what they clearly said.

    Because you refuse #1, you seem determined to do #2 or #3, in which case you are in no position to continue accusing others of bearing false witness.

  107. paynehollow says:

    John…

    what do you learn from God commanding those things in mythic form? What is the lesson to take wives and kill children?

    1. Not every piece of literature or line of a given piece of literature need perforce to be giving “lessons” or “moral truths.” They could also be relaying a story as they understand it, for instance, or simply be an accounting (of lineage, for instance, or of various kings and rulers, for instance).

    2. Thus, we can read a mythic sounding story of creation and learn that the writers believed in a God that created “the world,” and the number of days it took or the number of years ago is not central to the point. Or it could be simply them saying, “This is our understanding of God and our origins…”

    3. Or, a story about God commanding Israel to kill everyone in the “enemy camp” including the children, could reflect (does reflect) the author’s understanding of how God rescues them from oppressive enemies. It could be – as found in some Psalms – a reflection moreso of the author’s desire to see justice against oppression than an actual reflection of God’s Will and God’s Love and Justice. You are familiar, I suppose, that some Psalms are referred to as Imprecatory Psalms (“O God, break the teeth in their mouths.” or “How blessed will be the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”) which do not reflect God’s Will, but are the plaintive cry of an oppressed people, right? Are those Psalms “wrong” for such prayers or are they rightly a reflection of the pain in a people’s soul and, TAKEN FOR WHAT THEY ARE, not a “lie” or immoral, just reality?

    Thus, when Bubba asserts…

    The Bible unmistakably attributes to God the command to wage wars of annihilation, and we can respond in only so many ways.

    …and then lists only three options (1. say it is literally so, 2. say they deliberately misrepresented God, 3. say that the writers didn’t mean it – and thereby bear false witness against the writers, says Bubba). But that is not the end of options.

    We can acknowledge, for instance, that the Creation story appears to be written in a particular style – that of myth, that was common to the time period – and should be taken that way and recognize that accepting a literary style is NOT to call the writers liars or to say that they misrepresented God, but that they merely told the story in their own particular style and language. Same for epic storytelling. Shakespeare is not a liar or misrepresenting God if he told stories in his Shakespearian style, he is merely a storyteller doing what storytellers do.

    The problem, Bubba, John, with trying to force these stories into a literal style is that you have an inconsistent God problem. The Bible tells us that God won’t cause us to do evil, but then, you have a god telling people to do evil.

    UNLESS, that is, you want to say, “killing babies of the enemy is not evil,” but THEN you have a moral credibility problem, because obviously, killing babies is immoral, at least in this day and age.

    SO, you might also try saying, “Well, God’s rules change. It USED to be okay to kill the babies of the enemy, but it’s not okay any more…” But then you have a rational credibility problem. WHY is it immoral now but not then? What changed? Where does the Bible say that the rules for killing babies changed?

    SO, you might also try saying, “Well, there are no consistent rules from culture to culture” and you might have some credibility if you were consistent on that. But to claim that SOME OT rules are consistent but not other OT rules, you have a consistency problem.

    And so on. With each “answer” you try to provide to the literal history approach, you have rational, biblical and/or moral problems. The best answer, it seems to me, is to recognize that these stories don’t represent literal history, literal rules, but are told in the epic style common to that time period. It removes all the irrationalities and immoralities that are built into the literal approach.

    Bubba, since John and Glenn are wholly unwilling (thus far) to even acknowledge my reasonable questions, perhaps you will step up and try to answer…

    Today: Is it wrong/sinful to force a woman into marriage/to force a married woman to have sex?

    Was it wrong back in the day to have a forced marriage – was it sinful but God “tolerated” it because it was part of the culture?

    IF it was “wrong but tolerated,” why is it now no longer wrong but tolerated? What changed?

    Do you believe that there is a category of sin that is “tolerated sin,” behaviors that are wrong, but that God tolerates/puts up with? If so, what biblical defense do you have for that and what (biblically) is the list of sins that fit in that category?

    Does the Bible condemn (ANYWHERE) polygamy, calling it a sin?

    Maybe if you lead the way, John et al, will be forthcoming with answers to these reasonable questions, too.

    Thanks,

    ~Dan

  108. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    What could you possibly mean by saying, “God is creator of all things” if you’re not sure that God creates human souls? Does the soul not fit in the category of “all things”?

    I believe that God created the universe. God started it all and created something from nothing. In THAT sense, God is the creator of all things.

    With me so far?

    It’s similar to a boy in a family with no music tradition. His parents and grandparents just weren’t interested in music. But he was. He began learning instruments, teaching himself to sing, wrote songs, learned songs, had instruments around. As he grew up, those instruments and that “music tradition” was in place and his children and his grandchildren and other descendants were made richer by that music tradition. He could be said, then, to be the instigator or creator of the music tradition in his family (and probably even community). Now, he did not literally teach his further descendents how to play or sing or write music, but he was the Creator, the Father/Mother of a music tradition in that family, creating many musical memories as a result.

    God is like that, I think. That seems reasonable to me.

    I have no biblical or scientific reason to think that God “creates souls,” but I do find biblical and rational grounds for thinking that God is the Great Starter/Creator of all Good Things.

    Beyond that, as to HOW it happens, HOW God works to create good in our lives and world, I don’t have any specifics other than inspiration and by God’s Will.

    Do you have any specific data or source on HOW or IF God “creates” souls, or is that just an opinion (and again, it’s a lovely opinion, I just don’t find a biblical source for it).

    Bubba…

    There really doesn’t seem to be a reasonable figurative meaning that you attach to the claim.

    Well, my explanation seems reasonable to me, and at least as biblical as your hunch that God literally “creates” souls (and again, that’s a lovely thought, but where is your biblical support for that?)

    ~Dan

  109. paynehollow says:

    While waiting hopefully for responses to my questions, a few more responses…

    Bubba…

    Because you refuse #1, you seem determined to do #2 or #3, in which case you are in no position to continue accusing others of bearing false witness.

    I don’t “refuse” #1. I do not find #1 to be a position that makes sense rationally, morally OR biblically. Since I can’t make any sense of that position rationally, morally or biblcially, I have had to set it aside as not in fitting with good reasoning, morality or sound Biblical study. I HELD that position, but abandoned it to remain faithful to the Bible’s teaching and my search for God’s Will.

    Part of why I had to abandon that position is precisely because I was unable to rationally or biblically answer the very same sort of questions that you all are unable to (or at least haven’t) answered.

    That I suspect that, given the evidence I have, that the writers were writing in a literary style more akin to the epic style that was common to the day is in no way a “bearing of false witness…” It is simple biblical scholarship and reasoning. But EVEN IF I were mistaken (and that is always a possibility, just as it is possible that you are mistaken), it isn’t “bearing false witness” against the biblical writers. It would be called “mistake,” not “false witness.” Since the authors are not here, we don’t have an authoritative source to settle the question. You and I have opinions and either of us, being mistaken, are not “bearing false witness…” in our mistake.

    On the other hand, John and Glenn (at least) continually make false witness testimony about what I believe or what I have claimed. The difference is, whereas the biblical authors are not present, I AM. I am here and can authoritatively say, “Um, I did NOT say that, I do NOT believe that.” and correct the false claim. Unlike the biblical authors, if John or anyone suspects I hold the rather spectacularly awful position (and extremely hard to believe, at that) that God is evil, he can simply ASK me to clarify. I do this repeatedly with you all, why not return the grace for me? You could save yourselves the embarrassment of being mistaken by a simple question, “Dan, do you REALLY mean that you think God is evil?!”

    Do you even recognize how incredibly goofy that sounds?

    ~Dan

  110. Dan, it doesn’t seem like you’re analyzing the text’s literary style to conclude that it must be anything-but-historical: you’re insisting on that conclusion for other reasons, namely that you cannot abide the thought that God did command what the Bible says He commanded.

    You write, “With each ‘answer’ you try to provide to the literal history approach, you have rational, biblical and/or moral problems.”

    But the examples you gave avoided the ACTUAL solution I provided — namely, that God has the moral right to take the life He creates and sustains, and to do so in a time and manner of His choosing. To that solution, YOU produce objections that defy rationality and the Bible’s clear teachings.

    God doesn’t own us, or so you say; God didn’t even CREATE us, or so you say.

    I say that your denying our being God’s creation is a very indication that you’re completely off-track.

  111. Dan, you bring up, as an analogy, a man who starts a generations-spanning tradition of music education and appreciation within his family: “Now, he did not literally teach his further descendents how to play or sing or write music, but he was the Creator, the Father/Mother of a music tradition in that family, creating many musical memories as a result.”

    You write, “God is like that, I think. That seems reasonable to me.”

    Ceteris paribus, that belief is reasonable — and in fact it has been the belief of quite a few people who emphasized human rationality. What you describe is the deism of Thomas Jefferson and other Enlightenment thinkers who denied both the possibility of miracles and the need for divine revelation.

    Reasonable as your deistic concept may be, there’s one thing it isn’t. It’s not biblical.

    I’ve pointed to numerous passages that clearly point to God’s close, personal work as our Creator and Sustainer: Psalm 139:13, Matthew 6:25-34, I Corinthians 8:6, and James 1:17.

    Is there ANY passage of Scripture that points to God’s being a divine watchmaker who sets things in motion and lets things play out, either because He won’t intervene or (like that musical pioneer of yours) He can’t intervene?

    How long must we wait for you to anchor your concept of the God of the Bible with what the Bible actually teaches about Him?

  112. Dan, just prior to your explanation of why others here are supposedly bearing false witness, you write, “Part of why I had to abandon that [earlier] position is precisely because I was unable to rationally or biblically answer the very same sort of questions that you all are unable to (or at least haven’t) answered.”

    I think I AM able to answer those questions, and I have — at length, repeatedly, and in numerous conversations.

    In short, God’s command to take human life isn’t evil, because the act isn’t universally immoral. It is instead GOD’S PREROGATIVE: the Bible clearly teaches that murder is wrong, not because we belong to ourselves (or to “no one”) but because we belong to God and are (per Gen 9:6) made in His image.

    I object to your characterization of what I have and haven’t answered. Since I’m right here to settle this matter, should I conclude that you’re bearing false witness if you continue to disagree?

  113. paynehollow says:

    A quickie…

    just prior to your explanation of why others here are supposedly bearing false witness,

    There is no “supposedly.” John said (among other false claims) that I thought God was evil. I DO NOT think God is evil. Ergo, that is a false witness. Same for nearly every other quick little comments he made, all the while ignoring my reasonable questions.

    How about it, Bubba? Before I answer your additional questions/address your comments, how about taking a turn and answering my questions? They’re short, simple, straightforward, I can’t imagine they are in any way difficult to answer.

    Here, I’ll even address some more of your comments as a goodwill gesture…

    it doesn’t seem like you’re analyzing the text’s literary style to conclude that it must be anything-but-historical: you’re insisting on that conclusion for other reasons, namely that you cannot abide the thought that God did command what the Bible says He commanded.

    I don’t find your interpretation to be biblically or rationally apt for several reasons, including:

    1. It APPEARS to be written in an epic style, it compares favorably to other epic stories we have.

    2. These stories were passed on at a time in history before the advent of modern history telling. So far as I know, there are zero histories from this time period that are told in the more modern style which did not begin showing up until ~500 BC.

    That’s two aspects of the text itself that cause me to lean towards a more epic/less literal style of storytelling. But there is more: there is biblical consistency…

    3. The Bible very consistently argues against shedding innocent blood, against God causing, telling, tempting people to do evil, against oppression, against harm to innocents. To accept this as a more literal history, we run into this biblical inconsistency and have to DO something with it or the “literal history” angle falls apart. It has nothing to do with me not being able to “abide the thought that God commanded people to rape and kill” (although that really isn’t a bad thing!) and more to do with taking it that way undermines the notion of a good and just God as found in the pages of the Bible. These passages, taken literally, undermine the whole of the Bible.

    One of the rubrics for orthodox Bible study is to study the obscure/hard to understand/believe through the more clear and obvious. Yet another orthodox Bible Study rubric (a VITAL one for followers of Jesus) is to interpret the whole of the Bible through the specific teachings of Jesus found in the NT.

    A “literal history” take on these passages does the opposite: IT interprets the clear and plain (God is love, God is Just, God won’t tempt us to sin) through the obscure (sometimes, God will act unjustly and in an unloving manner; sometimes God WILL command us to sin). It interprets Jesus’ specific teachings through the lens of certain passages in the OT, subjugating Jesus’ teachings to a certain segment of Jewish history, rather than the other way. We are Christians, not Jewish (and, in defense of our Jewish friends, I’m quite certain that a goodly number would agree that even OT teachings are consistently peaceful and opposed to shedding innocent blood and hating our enemies), we should interpret the Bible through the lens of Jesus’ teachings. This is basic orthodox Christian hermeneutics.

    I’ll continue this line of thinking, taking on your solution to this problem (it isn’t a sin if God tells you to do it…) shortly, but I’ll give you a chance to catch up on answering my questions.

    ~Dan

  114. Dan:

    There is no ‘supposedly.’ John said (among other false claims) that I thought God was evil. I DO NOT think God is evil. Ergo, that is a false witness.

    And you said that I am unable to answer (or at least haven’t answered) the questions that arose concerning God’s command to wage wars of annihilation. I have answered those sort of questions in numerous conversations with you, spanning literal years. Ergo, you’re bearing false witness, and you’re guilty of what you’re accusing others of doing.

    I think what John is saying is that you think God is evil, as He is described in the Bible, which John takes to be authoritative. Rather than lying, he could merely be writing without being as clear or precise as he could be, or he could just be mistaken.

    You rule out all possibilities but False Witness, but you’re still making statements that could plausibly be rendered the same way, using the standards you’re using.

    (And for what it’s worth, I also don’t attribute to God any commands to “rape” or “murder.” Those are your words, not the text’s and not mine.)

    You say that the “obscure” passages teach that “sometimes God WILL command us to sin,” but those passages DO NOT attach the word “sin” or the word “immoral” to what is commanded, just as the Bible NEVER uses the word “innocent” to describe the people who were targeted for annihilation.

    The Old Testament appears (you say) to have been written in an epic style, before the advent of modern history, and we have to interpret the text “through the specific teachings of Jesus found in the NT.”

    Jesus taught the fact of the resurrection from a single verb tense in Exodus, as if the text actually contained God’s revealed word — that He “is” the God of Abraham and not just “was” the God of a long-dead patriarch. He also warned that the coming judgment would be worse than Sodom, which suggests that He had no moral qualms about the city’s destruction being a historical fact and the result of divine judgment.

    Paul wrote as if the chronology of Genesis was trustworthy, deriving from that chronology the doctrine of salvation through faith, and the author of Hebrews praised Abraham for his willingness to obey God’s command to sacrifice Isaac.

    NOWHERE do we find Jesus or the NT writers treating OT history as anything other than history — as myth or epic or (as you put it a while back) the “revenge fantasies” of an oppressed people putting words in God’s mouth.

    “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

    I read that, and I don’t immediately think, HERE’S a guy who couldn’t tolerate a historical Old Testament deity, ending life through plagues and armies.

    About your demand that I answer your questions, I’ll remind you that you haven’t answered mine. You’ve addressed them, but you haven’t answered them.

    Go back a few days.

    “God knit me in my mother’s womb” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God created me.

    “The Lord is my shepherd” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God provides for you.

    Dan, if you want to insist that the claims I make ought to be taken figuratively, do me a favor and fill in the blanks:

    1) “God created me” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that ___X___.

    2) “God sustains me” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that ___Y___.

    What is X? What is Y? Fill me in here.

    As I said earlier today, You did NOT fill-in-the-blanks as I requested, and your response doesn’t provide a clear answer to my question — and I don’t believe you’ve sought to clarify your response since then.

    I asked these questions on November 27th. If you insist that I answer the questions that you directed my way TODAY, I insist that you answer mine first.

  115. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I asked, then, what is the literal truth that this “figurative” language presents poetically?

    I’ve answered this, Bubba. A reminder, I had originally answered your question:

    …in a sense, all life comes from God. That is my opinion. Am I mistaken, in your opinion?

    Bubba…

    I believe that God sustains you. Do you disagree?

    In a sense, yes. Literally, of course, the food and water and air that I take in sustains my life. But in a sense, we are all sustained by God. That is my opinion. Am I mistaken, in your opinion?

    I’ll add, we are sustained, ultimately, by love, by forgiveness, by grace… and these are all of God. Sure, literally speaking, we are sustained by the food and water and air we take in, but without love, forgiveness and grace, life is meaningless. God is the Source for love, forgiveness and grace, thus, God sustains us, makes life meaningful. Am I mistaken?

    In what way does God literally sustain us, Bubba?

    As to answering your fill-in-the-blank question, why does it need to be answered in that one way? What is wrong with my answer (and make no mistake, it IS an answer – again – to your question)?

    But, to match your example…

    “The Lord is my shepherd” is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God provides for you.

    God is my creator is a figurative way of making the literal claim that, ultimately God created everything.

    God sustains me is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God’s love, grace and is what REALLY sustains us.

    So, your turn.

    ~Dan

  116. “God is my creator is a figurative way of making the literal claim that, ultimately God created everything.”

    Presumably “everything” includes “me,” which means that you’re saying “God is my creator” is a “figurative” way of saying GOD IS MY CREATOR.

    “God sustains me is a figurative way of making the literal claim that God’s love, grace and [sic] is what REALLY sustains us.”

    If God’s love sustains me, then God Himself sustains me, which means you’re saying “God sustains me” is a “figurative” way of saying GOD SUSTAINS ME.

    Those look pretty literal to me.

    And so, we’re back to the reason I brought up these claims in the first place: if God created me, He has the authority and moral right to end my life, and if God sustains me, He has the authority and moral right to withdraw that sustaining power.

    Before I get to your questions, I must ask, how can you POSSIBLY object to that conclusion?

    About your questions, I note first of all, that I AM NOT ARGUING that God’s OT commands to wage war was permissible because of the culture; I’m arguing for it because of God’s sovereignty, which hasn’t changed.

    Q1: Today: Is it wrong/sinful to force a woman into marriage/to force a married woman to have sex?

    A1: Ceteris paribus, yes.

    Q2: Was it wrong back in the day to have a forced marriage – was it sinful but God “tolerated” it because it was part of the culture?

    A2: It was the least-bad option, because the Biblical command wasn’t about random encounters at a nightclub: it was dealing with the survivors of a war, which was mostly women. What should the Israelites do with war widows? Marrying them and providing for them DOES seem a little more humane than letting them starve to death.

    Q3: IF it was “wrong but tolerated,” why is it now no longer wrong but tolerated? What changed?

    A3: The likelihood that war widows would otherwise starve to death.

    Q4: Do you believe that there is a category of sin that is “tolerated sin,” behaviors that are wrong, but that God tolerates/puts up with? If so, what biblical defense do you have for that and what (biblically) is the list of sins that fit in that category?

    A4: Yes, Matthew 19:8, and a biblical list isn’t given, so faithful and mature Christians can disagree about the particulars.

    Q5: Does the Bible condemn (ANYWHERE) polygamy, calling it a sin?

    A5: No, but it warns against a king having many wives because of the risk of those wives leading him into idolatry (Deut 17:17). Since it’s never commanded and since Christ affirmed the Genesis 2 principle that points to one man, one woman (see Mt 19), I think it’s VERY reasonable to conclude that polygamy was, at best, only tolerated by God.

    Frankly, I’m not sure why you have such problems with the idea of progressive revelation, such that certain things are only prohibited for a time, until such time as the audience has reached another stage of development.

    If a person permits his daughter to date at age 16, must he ALSO permit her to date at age 6?

    Or, since we both claim to revere Christ’s teachings so highly, I wonder:

    What do you make of Matthew 10:5 and Matthew 28:19 (cf. Acts 1:8)? Is it really so astounding that Jesus would give contradictory instructions in different situations? If not, why would demand that that the Father would NEVER do in ONE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED YEARS (the Exodus to the Incarnation) what the Son DID do in about three years?

  117. paynehollow says:

    Thanks for the answers and thoughts. I’ve been busy dealing with my elderly parents lately.

    To answer your questions at the end, Bubba, no, it is NOT astounding to me that there are different mores and rules in place in different cultures over thousands of years. Rules and expectations likely DO vary from place to place and time to time.

    That is a very progressive position to stake out, Bubba. I’d keep it on the down-low, though, if I were you, or the conservatives will be coming for your head next.

    So, if you’re okay with mores changing, different rules in different places, on what basis are you opposed to gay folk marrying?

    And while I can appreciate and find some relevance in the progressive revelation game, ultimately, I’m convinced that, biblically speaking, you all tend to use the wrong approach to Bible study, treating it too much like “what rules do I find here that I need to heed – AND tell other people to heed” as opposed treating it as a Book of Wisdom and consider, “what wisdom might I find in these pages for myself as I strive to follow Jesus…?”

    Some other time, when I have more time, we’ll have to follow up on this “wrong-but-tolerated” idea of considering sin.

    ~Dan

  118. Dan, I appreciate your response and your explanation for the delay; I do hope your parents are doing well.

    The concept of progressive revelation isn’t politically progressive: it’s an ancient doctrine rooted in Scripture itself, especially Hebrews 8-10. The old sacrificial system was but a shadow of the once-for-all sacrifice Christ made on the cross.

    About coming for my head “next,” our objection to your position is that it more closely resembles a belief in CORRECTIVE revelation rather than progressive revelation. It’s NOT that you believe God really did command ancient Israel to wage wars of annihilation but abstains from giving such commands to His New-Testament church.

    No, you go from one theory to the next trying to deny the historicity of the command: it was an Israelite “revenge fantasy” rather than divine revelation, or it was a “less than perfect” revelation, or it was figurative (never mind how), or now you say it was written in an epic style and not to be taken at face value even though that’s exactly what Christ and the NT writers evidently did.

    Notice that, on the subject of these supposed atrocities in the OT, we’re NOT taking the approach of “what rules do I find here that I need to heed – AND tell other people to heed.” In defending the belief that God both commanded wars of annihilation and permitted marrying the resulting war widows — with you consistently portray contentiously as shedding innocent blood and outright rape — NO ONE HERE is waging such a war or trying to marry war widows OR telling others to do the same.

    You say the better approach is “treating it as a Book of Wisdom and consider[ing], ‘what wisdom might I find in these pages for myself as I strive to follow Jesus…?’ ”

    Never mind how that approach stacks up to the strawman you constructed: I think you pretty consistently miss or at least downplay what the Bible says about God — who He is and what He’s done — to focus on ethical commands.

    And our efforts to follow Jesus ought to include His approach to Scripture.

    Jesus affirmed the authority of every penstroke, and He treated Scripture as God’s written word, in opposition to merely human tradition. He NEVER treated it as a mere Book of Wisdom that taught Truths but not facts.

    So, if you’re okay with mores changing, different rules in different places, on what basis are you opposed to gay folk marrying?

    (To be more precise, the question is about same-sex marriage. I have no problem with a gay man marrying a woman, or a lesbian marrying a man, etc.)

    You could just as easily ask, on what basis could one oppose hating one’s neighbor?

    I believe two things about what you call “mores” — one about divine law and the other about merely human custom.

    1. God can modify His law, as He did at least THREE TIMES regarding dietary regulations: Genesis 9 permitted eating meat, the Mosaic law imposed kosher regulations, and Christ’s teachings and Peter’s vision loosened those regulations. (For the latter, I believe that the external, ritualistic purity of kosher laws anticipated and was rendered obsolete by the internal sanctification that the Holy Spirit brings.)

    2. Man can modify mere customs, and he has a great deal of flexibility in doing so, so long as those customs remain within the boundaries God has provided. Daniel had no problem assimilating to Babylonian culture EXCEPT when it came to things like eating their food, which was (evidently) impermissible according to God’s law.

    Has God revealed that homosexual relationships are morally permitted? No, He has not.

    Is the sort of radical redefinition of marriage that you support still within the bounds of God’s revealed will? No, it is not.

    Why did God make us male and female? Genesis 2 told us, and in Matthew 19 Christ Himself affirmed the principle, one I’ve repeated to you many times: God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female).

    God hasn’t revoked that principle — and since it was “from the beginning,” it’s unlikely that He would — and same-sex “marriage” is a clear mockery of God’s revealed will for human sexuality.

    Some other time, when I have more time, we’ll have to follow up on this “wrong-but-tolerated” idea of considering sin.

    It’s not my idea, it’s from the same passage I cite above, Matthew 19. For those who claim to follow Christ, His clear teaching should already be well-known and understood.

    Christ taught that God didn’t “command” divorce in the Old Testament, and God didn’t: God only regulated it, requiring that those who wanted a divorce follow rules that ended up protecting the more vulnerable party.

    Christ taught that “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (19:8)

    We should recognize that God has made allowances for our human hard-heartedness — a sin problem, and not just a consequence of our fallibility.

    – The OT sacrificial system was established for “when” the Israelites sinned.

    – Christ and the Apostles established a protocol of sorts for “when” a Christian has been harmed by a fellow believer.

    – And we can confess and be forgiven and cleansed “when” we still sin as Christians (I John 1:8).

    But we should NEVER abuse these allowances; we should never be flippant about sinning just because God will forgive us. Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? Romans 6 is emphatic: no, we should not.

    Divorce was permitted because of our sinful stubbornness, but — Jesus said — “from the beginning it was not so.”

    And what was established in the beginning?

    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

    It’s a well-known teaching, one I’ve emphasized countless times in our conversations.

  119. One last thing about the Old Testament history books being “epic” literature.

    If you’re going to argue that Southerners are uniformly uncultured, it’s not enough to point to Honey Boo-Boo: you have to argue against Faulkner. If you’re going to argue that capital punishment is always unjust, it’s not enough to point to cases involving robberies-gone-wrong and at-risk minors whose actual guilt is in doubt: you have to argue against the slam-dunk cases like James Holmes, who shot up that movie theater in Colorado.

    In the same way, if you’re going to argue that the OT history is really a fictionalized epic, you should be forced to justify that conclusion against the hardest case, not the easiest case.

    The Odyssey. Gilgamesh. Beowulf. Ruth.

    One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong.

    I think it would be very difficult to describe the Book of Ruth as “epic storytelling,” and it’s difficult to sever the book from the larger OT narrative: it not only fits chronologically between the conquest of the promised land and the often violent stories of Saul and David, it is important to the story BIOLOGICALLY.

    Rahab the prostitute, who was spared in the conquest — whose survival proves that the conquest centered on faith, not ethnicity — was the mother of Boaz, Boaz married Ruth, the two of them had Obed who fathered Jesse, the father of King David.

    The story prior to Ruth involves the divine command to wage wars of conquest, and the story immediately after Ruth involves the divine command to wage wars of annihilation.

    (One such command was given in I Samuel 15, and Saul was rejected by God because he disobeyed this command, pretending to spare the spoil as a sacrifice to God. Verse 22 has that great observation that obedience is better than sacrifice, but let’s never forget the actual command that Saul was supposed to obey.)

    Are we supposed to believe that, despite the complete absence of miracles and divine revelation, the mundane domestic drama of Ruth is an instance of “epic storytelling”?

    Or are we supposed to believe that the Old Testament oscillates between epics and trustworthy history, and that — wouldn’t you know it? — the “epic” parts coincide with those passages that Dan just can’t abide as historical?

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: