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6/18/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Questions Your Pastor Will Hate

By Dennis Diehl

When I was kid, I loved to ask my minister questions about things that, to my young mind, made no sense when I read them in the Bible or more likely heard them in Sunday school. His answers were always rather bland and not a little aloof since, after all, he was the pastor and I was just a kid.

I remember asking about how humans and dinosaurs could coexist. After all, they had to be a part of the creation story, even though not mentioned specifically. Or why would dinosaurs be taken on the ark, only to go extinct such a short time after? And how do you cage a T-Rex or fit a Brontosaurus on such a boat, much less a pair of all sorts?

I got a lot of looks but very few answers. As the years went by, I concluded that none of it was either possible or even addressed in the Bible. I realized humans and dinosaurs had nothing in common (unless you live in the SE USA) and the pastor was either ignorant, deliberately deceptive or hung up somewhere in between himself, not knowing what to say to a kid. I honestly think I would have appreciated knowing what I suspect he knew, that being the story of Noah was fiction and I didn't have to worry about dinosaurs or polar bears for tha matter on the ark. It never happened.

I remember asking why the Bible, a book which had to know better since it was written by God himself, said Joshua raised his hands and the "sun stopped for the space of about a day," when clearly it would be the earth that stopped rotating? I asked him how oceans would not slop out of their basins in such a scenario and drown the whole world? I asked him if humans would not be cast into space by such a sudden stop of the entire planet? I even asked if this really happened, why did no one else on the whole planet notice it, or write about it? I got that dumb look again.

I asked what about all those in history and even now who have never heard of Jesus. He said they all are saved in their ignorance, though another minister I asked said they all go to hell of some sort. So depending on who you ask, the ignorant either get an automatic free pass for their trouble or go to hell, having no awareness of what they did to deserve that! Hmmmm. Something ain't right here!

I did respond by asking him why then we should send missionaries and put the ignorant at risk, when if we just leave them alone, they can make it in their ignorance of never having heard the only name under heaven by which a man can be saved. I got the look again.

I went to a Christian college to study these things. Boy if you think I had questions as a kid!

"Why did God not like Cain's vegetable sacrifice but loved Abel's cooked meat?" Answer...Vegetarians are weak Christians.

"Who was Cain afraid would kill him when God put him out of the Garden for killing Abel? There were mom, dad, bro and himself on the whole planet at the time." Answer...He must have known his sisters were going to have kids with dad, no not that. He was speculating. Cain wasn't thinking very clearly that day.

"Why would God stop the whole earth for a day so Israelites could finish a genocide against the enemy?" I mean, I can see stopping it so there is more time to hug, or feed the hungry, or plant the crops, but more time to kill? Dumb story. Answer...God hates sin and had to kill the bastards, he just needed more time than he planned on."

"How come the horses in the Exodus die twice in the Ten Plagues and still survive for Pharoah to mount a final attack against the Israelites, and then die again." Answer...Where do you get this stuff?

"Why, no matter what, is it always the human's fault and God never gets any blame for not making good on his promises?" Answer...It's a mystery. Have faith. God's ways are not your ways.

"Why does the Apostle Paul, who writes most of the New Testament, NEVER quote Jesus, tell a story of his life or death, discuss a miracle or teaching?" Answer...Where do you get this stuff?

"Why does neither Mark nor John know anything about Jesus birth, while Matthew and Luke do but tell contradictory stories?" Answer...Because the Gospels are like four people who see a car wreck...

"Why does Paul only say Jesus was born of a woman like everyone else?" Answer...Paul was concerned about the risen Jesus, not the earthly one. He was too busy to check up on the details.

"Did Paul ever spend five minutes with the real human Jesus?" Answer..well no, but Paul's Jesus is the risen Jesus, it doesn't matter.

"Isn't it strange the man who writes most of the New Testament and tells us all how to live, think and believe about Jesus, never met him, while the Twelve who did, vanish into thin air and write nothing/" Answer...You ain't from around these parts are you boy.

"How come Jesus never wrote anything himself while alive, but then writes perfect Greek after he is dead in the form of the Book of Revelation?" Answer....He finished his PHD in Heaven.

"If Herod killed all the little children under two to get at Jesus, who escaped, can we not say the little children had to die for Jesus before he died for them?" Answer...No we can't, sheesh.

"How come Herod couldn't follow the Star of Bethlehem himself to find Jesus, but sent others to report back when they found him?" Answer...He was busy.

"How could Mary leave town after being warned of Herod's intentions and never tell the women in the town, their kids were about to be butchered?" Answer...she was under oath not to tell the Angel story.

"Do you think Mary thought, 'I know something you don't know,' as she left town?" Answer...you're sick.

"How could Jesus family flee to Egypt sometime during the first two years in one story but go home to Nazareth quietly after 40 days in the other?" Answer...It's a miracle.

"How come in Mark 3 Mary and his brothers came to get Jesus and take him home because they thought he was "mad" which I assume means insane. Did Mary forget who he was and how he got here?" Answer...shut up.

"How come Matthew uses the Old Testament to weave a story of Jesus, where every quote he uses has absolutely nothing to do with the point he is making about Jesus birth?" Answer...While we might flunk you for such methods, we give Matthew an A, because, well, he's Matthew. Bible guys get to do and say things you're not allowed to.

"If Jesus was asked 'who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?', would that not imply the man had sinned before his birth, perhaps in a previous life, if his blindness at birth was some kind of punishment? I mean, the blindness was from birth, so the sin had to be before that." Answer...Ummm.., no. Whatever the answer, it's definitely not that one.

"So is it just me, or are these good questions to ask about the text and theology of the Bible?" Answer...It's just you. While we might be marginally informed ourselves, we are very piously convicted of our answers. The wisdom of man, and this would be you in this case, is foolishness with God. You're fired and have a nice day.

And so it goes. If you want to make a pastor, elder or deacon turn white with fear or red with anger, just ask a Bible question based on the actual text or what today we would simple know as common sense. Depending on his denomination, education, candor and personal spiritual confidence, he will react accordingly. Most pastors I know are sincere, but ill informed or duplistic and well informed, not willing to risk all for what they clearly also see is a problem with the "inerrant" text of the Bible. Kinda sad actually, but when it comes to matters of the spirit, it is important to keep asking those questions about a book that purports to have the key to everything and the only right way for a human to think. It's important to ask questions of all such books and ideas. Let's face it, take away the zealots and fundamentalists from Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and the planet might actually find some peace. Killing the messenger for bringing the message some don't want to hear, is however, still the preferred way to handle such things all too often.

Dennis is a former Pastor of 26 years and still has lots of questions left :)


Authors Bio:

Dennis Diehl is a former pastor of 26 years, who outgrew the literalism of Fundamentalism. He writes about Pastoral and Church abuse and is available to speak on such topics or be helpful to any church suffering under abusive religion or pastors.


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34 comments:

Sieghart said...

i want a horse that can die twice, let me mount an all out attack, and die again, thats like, Highlander Horse.

Moonpearl said...

The "shut up", "where do you get these", "foolishness of God" answers are all so typical. But so is the ". . . the gospels are like a car wreck" answer. That meme gets disseminated so well that there must be a reason behind it. Oh, the contradictions actually PROVE the validity of the gospels because, uh, they are like witnesses seeing a car wreck . . . yada yada yada. I think I heard the car wreck story before I even thought about the contradictions (at least consciously - I think I had to bury a lot of contradictions under the "don't let Satan cause you to doubt" clause). So sad . . . I really EXPECTED that there were valid answers and that I was just too much a dumb human to see them and that all I had to do was persist in asking the questions and then someday somebody would take the time to give me answers that would reflect on the eternal truth of the matter in a satisfying manner. What an idiot! It should have been obvious by the way I was given the brushoff that my intelligence and persistence were signs of the devil and proof that I wasn't a True Believer. Sigh. No amount of fervent prayer ever got me through that. But I am told it is because I have low self esteem and don't like being unaccepted and don't realize how much Jesus loves me and it is the people who hurt me and not Jesus so just shut up and have faith already . . . .

Jamie said...

As a Seventh-day Adventist, I was brought up to value and seek the Truth. I was taught that the bible can stand up to scrutiny. How ironic that this very teaching is what lead me away from the faith.

Huey said...

My questions started with "where did god come from", probably most people's first serious question. I was ten years old at the time and attending a Morman church (my father was a Morman) and I asked this question of a lady who attended the very small Morman church on the air base we were at. The answer was that once upon a time (seriously!) there were a lot of these little "nothings", who all got together and elected one of these little "nothings" to be god. I remember thinking that the story was the stupidest thing I had ever heard and that was the start of my "deconversion" process, if it could be called that. At ten years of age how do you seriously believe in a god. It is not too long prior to that that you find out that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy do not exist. (I faked that for awhile just for materialistic greed. ;) ) I honestly thought that god was just one more of these things that grown ups wanted kids to buy into. Turns out I was right.


I do have a question though. If you had all of these poorly answered questions, even as a child, why did you go on to become a pastor? I do not ask this to be sarcastic, I am genuinely curious.

Anonymous said...

Interesting observations Dennis. But I am also curious as to why you would become a pastor after having doubted the biblical teachings from childhood?

Huey......................I'm watching you! Morman indeed!

Noell

Dave, not the WM said...

I have a question to add to your list. If the bible is the work of God and God created the universe, why did he get so many things wrong? Did he forget how he put the universe together? Why is there no instance in the bible of information that a bronze age human couldn't possibly have known, but science has proven to be correct?

Huey said...

Anonymous said:

"Huey......................I'm watching you! Morman indeed!"

LOL! My father was the Mormon. My mother hated organized religion, considering it to be evil and refused to attend a Mormon church. After their diviorce, my father had custody for a couple of years so we went to a Mormon church. Thankfully that only lasted a couple of years! But it was enough to put me on the true path to unrighteousness.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Let's start with the basics. Do you know everything? No? How about half of everything? No? Well, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you know half of everything... do you have any conception of the enormity of what you don't know? Have you ever looked at a picture of deep space? Have you every tried to fathom the expanse of the universe? Your knowledge and wisdom is infinitesimal almost amounting to nothing. Do you think it possible for God to exist in the half that you don't posess? Do you think that the answers to your questions may exist in the half that you have no knowledge of?
How did dinosaurs fit on the ark?
-How did elephants?
-How did dangerous carnivores?
-Your question implies that evolution is true, and that man and dinosaurs did not coexist.
-Maybe the ark was big.
Why does the Bible say that the sun stopped?
-Why do you call it a "sunrise"? Why not call it "the morning earth rotation"?
Why didn't the oceans slop out and people fly off the earth?
-Do you imagine God as not powerful enough to overcome this? I mean, if He is going to stop the earth from rotating, then you would think he could overcome these other problems...
Why didn't others write about it?
-It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length."
Are the heathen lost?
-Yes. They are sinners in need of a saviour. If we are fine as we are, then Jesus would not have to die on the cross and shed his blood for our sins... God would have been ridiculous and foolish, because by coming here, he would have condemned us. This is a very clear biblical issue.
Why did God not like Cain's vegetable sacrifice and liked Able's meat one?
-If you do not understand that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins..." then you are lost indeed.
Who was Cain afraid of if they were the only ones on earth?
-They lived long lives in the beginning (400 - 1000 years). Do you have any concept of what the population of the earth would look like in a few hundred years? It depends on birth rates, but there would be thousands perhaps tens of thousands of people by then. They were building cities.
Why did God stop the earth to help the Israelites commit genocide?
-Do you know what the Canannites were doing? They were burning their babies on altars to idols. They were torturing and killing babies in fire. What if you knew of a town in your country that was doing that? Say this whole town converted to a religion that commanded them to sacrifice babies on fiery altars daily? You would say that the police or the army should go in and stop them wouldn't you? What if they resisted so they could continue killing children and others as sacrifices? Would you condone the use of deadly force to get them to stop? Oh, wait. I forgot. You are holier and smarter than God, and you would have a better answer. Maybe you could just talk to them? After all, if it makes you happy, it can't be that bad. If it feels good do it right?
How did the horses in Exodus die twice?
-They didn't. God brought a curse upon them once, and didn't say that he would kill them all.
Why, no matter what, is it always the human's fault and God never gets any blame for not making good on his promises?
-What are you talking about? What promises did God break? Are you a lunatic, or do you just not think before you speak?
Why does the Apostle Paul, who writes most of the New Testament, NEVER quote Jesus, tell a story of his life or death, discuss a miracle or teaching?
-Ok, this may be hard for you to follow... but give it a try.
-Paul was not one of Jesus' disciples. He was not hanging around when Jesus was performing miracles. He did not relate those accounts because he wasn't there to see them.
-Also, Paul wasn't writing stories, or writing for his own amusement - he was writing letters to address certain issues. He was also writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and was not lead to include those things.
Why does neither Mark nor John know anything about Jesus birth, while Matthew and Luke do but tell contradictory stories?
-The question should be, "Why did neither Mark or John include an account of Jesus' birth?" Your assumption is ignorant.
-What contradictions? The genealogies are different because one is Mary's and the other is Joseph's. They do included different details, but it was a very detail-rich story... there was a lot going on, and a lot to say. This doesn't mean that they were making it up.
Why does Paul only say Jesus was born of a woman like everyone else?
-This may also be hard for you to follow - Jesus' mother, she was a woman.
-Everyone else? What are you talking about?
-I have a sneaking suspicion that if Paul had affirmed the virgin birth of Christ, you still wouldn't believe it.
Did Paul ever spend five minutes with the real human Jesus?
-First. Jesus was not just human as your question implies. Read the first chapter of Revelation.
-Second. Paul was taught by "the real Jesus" after he was converted.
Ga 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Isn't it strange the man who writes most of the New Testament and tells us all how to live, think and believe about Jesus, never met him, while the Twelve who did, vanish into thin air and write nothing?
-Dealt with in previous answer
How come Jesus never wrote anything himself while alive, but then writes perfect Greek after he is dead in the form of the Book of Revelation?
-A ha. My suspicions are confirmed. The article said, "Dennis is a former Pastor of 26 years" Yeah right. There is no Christian pastor on earth who would say that the book of Revelation was written by Jesus. Further, there is no Bible school student, deacon, sunday school teacher, or choir boy who would make that kind of mistake. You are probably just a bitter man who is angry at God for some reason or another.
If Herod killed all the little children under two to get at Jesus, who escaped, can we not say the little children had to die for Jesus before he died for them?
-The little children died because the evil king had his military kill them.
How come Herod couldn't follow the Star of Bethlehem himself to find Jesus, but sent others to report back when they found him?
-Herod wasn't an astronomer. I bet you think that the Bible says the star was the size of the moon and moved across the sky to the tune of "O Little Town of Bethlehem".
How could Mary leave town after being warned of Herod's intentions and never tell the women in the town, their kids were about to be butchered?
-You were there and know what they said to people (or didn't say)? Wow. Please tell me more.
Do you think Mary thought, 'I know something you don't know,' as she left town?
-Actually, the answer to this question in your article is a good one and I don't really need to add to it.
How could Jesus family flee to Egypt sometime during the first two years in one story but go home to Narareth quietly after 40 days in the other?
-Umm. 2 different stories here pal. First one is Jesus' birth, and second one is the temptation in the wilderness. You flipped to Mark chapter 1 instead of Luke 1 when you were quickly looking for your "contradictions".
How come in Mark 3 Mary and his brothers came to get Jesus and take him home because they thought he was "mad" which I assume means insane. Did Mary forget who he was and how he got here?
-A little confused aren't you? It's ok. Just take a few deep breaths and listen carefully. Those were 2 distinct instances in Mark 3. First some people called "his friends" tried to lay hold on him because they thought he was beside himself, and then after that was all over with his family showed up and wanted to talk to him.
-Are you using one of those comic book bibles? You know, the ones for kids with pictures and caption bubbles and little words?
"How come Matthew uses the Old Testament to weave a story of Jesus, where every quote he uses has absolutely nothing to do with the point he is making about Jesus birth?" Answer...While we might flunk you for such methods, we give Matthew an A, because, well, he's Matthew. Bible guys get to do and say things you're not allowed to.
-I included your answer to your own question because it is as revealing as the question it'self. Who is going to flunk you? I guess I may have to take back what I said about Bible school students not making that kind of mistake.
-Your question is confusing. Sorry. Can't answer a question that doesn't make sense.
If Jesus was asked 'who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?', would that not imply the man had sinned before his birth, perhaps in a previous life, if his blindness at birth was some kind of punishment? I mean, the blindness was from birth, so the sin had to be before that.
-I'm confused. Are you implying that the premise for a question the disciples asked Jesus may have been wrong? Are you saying that they were just regular men who make mistakes?
So is it just me, or are these good questions to ask about the text and theology of the Bible?
-Some of them are good questions, and they have good answers... while others are not good questions as they are poorly researched and born from prejudice and ignorance of the Bible.
Richard B.

by porscheguy19

Trancelation said...

Anonymous:

Your post makes me chuckle.

The argument from authority is a logical fallacy. Since you start with a logical fallacy, none of what you say afterward matters. How does that make you feel?

Jamie said...

I'll let others deal with most of what porscheguy19 is saying (if you want to bother...his own answers are pretty damning without the flogging he's sure to take here in a few minutes...)

But I wanted to address one thing that has always bothered me. How come everytime God's apparent command of genocide is brought up Christians say "But those people were sacrificing babies!"? To me it doesn't seem that the best thing to do to rescue babies from being sacrificed is to kill them (along with everyone else). I mean, seriously, that's like if you were getting whipped I'd come along and rescue you by whipping you AND your father and mother. It doesn't even make sense.

And the horses DID all have to die twice...Exodus 9 verses 2-6 you'll see that it specifically mentions that all the livestock died (and mentions that the livestock includes horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep and goats).

Anonymous said...

Richard B:- Those were 2 distinct instances in Mark 3. First some people called "his friends" tried to lay hold on him because they thought he was beside himself, and then after that was all over with his family showed up and wanted to talk to him.


Nadene responds: It depends on the translation you use the KJV says friends, but The New English Bible states:

When his family heard of this, they set out to take charge of him; for people were saying that he was out of his mind.

Mark 3:vs 21-ish (the NEB doesn't divide versus up neatly)

pikd said...

I read the articles by Dehl...at least my former clergy did not shout when i ask...but they too convinced that i need to be exorcism

Anonymous said...

porscheguy19 I had hoped that as a person coming out of the christian experience, you would have something valid and po=allitable to say.
I am remiss and deeply saddened to find an argument with no weight, other than the weight of your bitterness....

jannah

Anonymous said...

I have a really good answer for you.

You know that lots of Australian animals have pouches? Well after the flood the kangaroos put koalas and other unique to Australia animals in their pouches and hopped all the way to Australia from Turkey. God provided manna (?) along the way to feed them.

See, there is an answer for everything if you try hard enough! And obviously God was smart enough to put lots of fossils in Australia so it looked like they have been there for millions of years to fool the smart people.

BR

whateverlolawants said...

porscheguy19... not much for me to say, except your tone is terribly condescending and arrogant. Such a great advertisement for Christianity! Now get out of here; just because you can access this website does not mean it is a good place for you to do "Gawd's work" (or rather, feel good about yourself for defending your irrational beliefs against rational arguments that challenge your beliefs.)

Joe said...

The question is really not whether there is a god powerful enough to stop the earth and then counter-act its inertia or use the flashy thing to keep everyone else on the planet from noticing. It's why he couldn't come up with something better than killing all the bad people.

The idea that we are bad, so bad that we deserve to die and be subject to brutal death and then sent to eternal torment, is repugnant. But, man, what a good trick if you want to get a bunch of people to bring their sin offerings down to the temple for the theocratic barbecue. Make up supernatural evils and justify real evils and make a paying proposition out of being god's representative on Earth.

Fuck god, the son, and the spirit. I've seen a few too many people brutally killed in pointless struggles for power. That's all it ever is. Whether it is domestic violence, gangs, or "just wars," somebody deserves to die for being on the wrong side. Our world is too full of destructive power to let easy justifications for killing persist.

Stop the war.

Scottnogod said...

Anonymous wrote.
" I have a really good answer for you.

You know that lots of Australian animals have pouches? Well after the flood the kangaroos put koalas and other unique to Australia animals in their pouches and hopped all the way to Australia from Turkey. God provided manna (?) along the way to feed them.

See, there is an answer for everything if you try hard enough! And obviously God was smart enough to put lots of fossils in Australia so it looked like they have been there for millions of years to fool the smart people.

BR"


Umm I was under the impression that for an answer to be a good answer one must have some evidence to back it up. Christians like you remind me of kids calling at each other "you are" - "no, you are".
Sure you can make up a million different "god did it" answers. But it is only valid if you have evidence to support such a claim. Even more so for a claim that goes against our what we see with our eyes on a daily basis. Remember At the end of the day the only difference between a christian and an atheist is that out of all the Thousands of Gods that have been worships the atheist believes in one less than you. Your God has as much evidence for his existance as any other ever worshiped.

Anonymous said...

porchseguy19

I can understand why most regulars won't bother to respond, as they have done so to a thousand other comments like yours, and I'm guessing they're pretty sick and tired of repeating themselves. But I can't just let a comment like that pass by without a specific response, so here goes.

Let's start with the basics, shall we? If we have as little knowledge and wisdom as you claim, then the Xian God does not exist. How can I make such an outlandish claim? Simple. If we have truly been given free will, and have truly been created in the image of God, then we possess the framework for understanding the universe and the nature of God. For if our knowledge is 'infinitesimal', then we are slaves to faith, to believing without question what we are told in the bible. Even you would agree that this is not the case, and so your argument from Authority is contradictory and inherently problematic.

You respond to the valid question of dinosaurs on the ark with more questions...I fail to see how this refutes Dennis' point. There are problems with the ark from purely a functional point of view, one does not even need to debate what species were on the ark to prove that such an event could never have occured. What did they do with all the manure?

As for the question of the sun stopping, well, to argue that the oceans would not have caused massive flooding because God prevented it, is a ridiculous one. If God is powerful enough to stop the sun, yet keep the oceans and the humans from spilling into space, then why did he not finish off the genocide Himself?
As for your insistence that there is a recorded day that matches that of the biblical stopping of the sun, well I think you need a bit of a history lesson. I suggest you find out when the Babylonians existed and when the Aztecs did, and then you can explain to me how they could both have recordings of the same day. If nothing else, the fact that you quote from a May 1978 Bible-Science newsletter does little to uphold your assertion.

Are the heathens lost? No. You say that if we are fine, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross for our sins. Well guess what.......he didn't! There is not one indisputable shred of evidence that Jesus either existed or died on a cross, or even of the resurrection. Your answer concerning why God rejected Cain's offer is also absurd. If God was indeed a fair God, the least he could have done was to inform those early humans as to what an acceptable sacrifice was. The last time I checked, He entrusted the care of the earth and its denizens to us, so it seems to me that Cain, by not blood-letting, held more closely to what a true God would have wanted.
Your first words warned how careful we must be to assert anything, given the amount of knowledge that we can never possess, yet you make a giant leap of logic in assuming that after a few centuries the earth would be crawling with Adam's offspring. Yet, somehow, the bible makes no mention of any of this? Surely, an omniscient and wise God would, in His revelation, have foreseen the amount of debate and uncertainty that would arise out of this paradox? I'm sure many people would not have de-converted had this matter been clearer. The bible wastes a lot of time on genealogies and books like The Song of Soloman, yet He can't give a few more verses, or even chapters, to clear up His creation story?

I won't discuss your mention of the Canaanites or the horses in Exodus, as this has been clarifed by other commentors already.

What promises did God break? Well, how about the flood promise, for one, and if Jesus is God incarnate, will he broke a few in his time as well. Where two or more are gathered in my name, anyone?

"Why does Paul only say Jesus was born of a woman like everyone else?
-This may also be hard for you to follow - Jesus' mother, she was a woman."
Now you're just being condescending. Jesus' claim to Godhood is not because he was born of a woman, but because he was born of the Holy Spirit. Why would Paul bother to write that he was born of a woman if, as you so 'cleverly' put it, only women can give birth?

"-I have a sneaking suspicion that if Paul had affirmed the virgin birth of Christ, you still wouldn't believe it. "
You'd be right. Because the accuracy of atheist claims does not hang on any of Paul's claims, whereas that of Xianity does. If Paul had said that, there would still be a plethora of reasons to doubt the bible, and yet nothing more to substantiate Xian claims.

"-Second. Paul was taught by "the real Jesus" after he was converted."
Er, wait a sec, did you not just say earlier that Paul had not been around Jesus?

"Isn't it strange the man who writes most of the New Testament and tells us all how to live, think and believe about Jesus, never met him, while the Twelve who did, vanish into thin air and write nothing?
-Dealt with in previous answer"
Er, no, I hate to break it to you, but you didn't. You have, with a few exceptions, quite magnificently avoided a direct answer to almost every question, and done nothing but quote stock answers that have all been refuted over and over again. If you're going to take the time to answer all of Dennis' points, try to make sure that you a)do some basic research, b)come up with an original answer and c)make sure you don't contradict yourself all the time.

"There is no Christian pastor on earth who would say that the book of Revelation was written by Jesus."
Okay, let's take this slowly so we all can keep up. The bible is inspired by God, no? The word was God and all that John stuff. Jesus is God, yes? So, if Revelation is God's true word to John, then it was indeed 'written' by Jesus.

"You are probably just a bitter man who is angry at God for some reason or another."
Again, you display your complete ignorance in using tired cliches. When will Xians understand that the majority of ex-Xians did not de-convert as some sort of knee-jerk reaction to mistreatment or abuse, but because they were able to analyse rationally and look objectively at a system of belief that is man-made.

"-Some of them are good questions, and they have good answers... while others are not good questions as they are poorly researched and born from prejudice and ignorance of the Bible."
Kudos for admitting that there were vaild and reasonable questions amongst the bunch, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to deduct points for not actually showing that any of Dennis' questions were born of prejudice and ignorance. The only words that have shown any sort of prejudice and ignorance, porscheguy19, are yours.

Paul

Thackerie said...

Scottnogod - I'm pretty sure that anonymous poster who said the thing about the kangaroos that you responded to was just joshing. It's called satire. Try to development a sense of humor and limit your derision to the True Christians™ who like to come here and tell us how all-loving god is going to fry our asses in hell.

scottnogod said...

Ye possibly, it's so hard to tell satire from fundieism sometimes. Poe's law and all. As far telling me to get a sense of humour. Who are you to assume you know me. Last I checked I haven't insulted anyone christian or otherwise. You on the other hand.....

Nvrgoingbk said...

Porcheguy, as Paul stated, most of the regulars here have not responded to your post. That is surprising, but I can understand their frustration and even boredom with people like you who take up an UNGODLY amount of room with their apologetic answers that prove NOTHING.

Your answers are all conjecture. You don't know who Cain was afraid of, so you have decided for yourself that by that time there had to have been ALOT of people on Earth since they all lived so long. Is there any evidence to back that up? I've never even heard that excuse! You had to have come up with that one all by yourself.

You claim that there are historical accounts of the day being prolonged and you bring up ancient accounts to prove it, but those cultures are either older or far younger than the Hebrews, so how did they all experience the same day?

You mention emphatically that the Cannanites were sacrificing their children and that is why the Israelites had to do away with their heathen nation. Can you please explain to me then why God did nothing to stop Jephathah from sacrificing his daughter and said nothing regarding this despicable act? Can you also explain to me why it is okay for God to sacrifice his own son to himself, but it wasn't okay for the Cannanites. Another thing: Do you have any historical evidence of the Cannanites sacrificing their children or are you simply excusing the Israelites actions, because they claim that's what was going on?

You said: "How did dinosaurs fit on the ark?
-How did elephants?
-How did dangerous carnivores?
-Your question implies that evolution is true, and that man and dinosaurs did not coexist.
-Maybe the ark was big"

Are you serious? Are you implying that man and dinosaur DID live together? If that is the case, then by your own admission, man HAS to be older than 6 thousand years, as fossil evidence CLEARLY shows dinosaurs to be MILLIONS of years old. You have just argued an old earth for us. Thank you.

You said: "What are you talking about? What promises did God break?"

What promises have actually come true? I guess Jesus was just kidding when he said that he'd be back during the lifetime of his followers. I guess he was just kidding when he said that the church would be doing more miraculous things than him (still haven't seen the fruits of THAT). I guess he was just kidding when he said that whatever we ask for in his name will be done for us by the father. I already know what your apologetic answer to THAT one will be- if it's in HIS WILL, right? Then why don't we all just pray, "Dear God, do what you want since you're going to any way?"

You said: 'Why does Paul only say Jesus was born of a woman like everyone else?
-This may also be hard for you to follow - Jesus' mother, she was a woman.
-Everyone else? What are you talking about?
-I have a sneaking suspicion that if Paul had affirmed the virgin birth of Christ, you still wouldn't believe it."

I say: Are you even aware of what the Hebrew word for "virgin" is? It is bethulah. The Hebrew word for young maiden or young woman is "almah". When Matthew tries to use the Isaiah 7:14 scripture "proving" that the OT prophecied of Jesus' "virgin" birth, he makes the mistake of translating the word "almah" into virgin. Dennis' point is that the OT NEVER prophecied that Jesus would be born of a virgin. The virgin birth of gods DID NOT originate with Jesus. It was an old myth perpetuated by the Babylonians, the Hindus, the Sumerians, the Persians, the Buddhists, the Syrians and the Greeks. Much older accounts of virgin-born gods exist than the Christian one, so can you clear this little discrepancy up? Go ask your pastor. I'll be waiting.

I will admit that Dennis did an incomplete job of proving Biblical contradictions, but there are just too many for him to address here.

I have a few myself, since you are so well educated in theology and have a pat answer for all of our questions:

Why did God command David to take a census, but then punish the Israelites for it by sending a plague to kill 70,000 of them?

Why does god claim we shouldn't commit adultery, but do nothing about the taking of many wives and concubines throught Hebrew history? On that note: why is it that God seems to only consider adultery as such when one man was taking another man's wife or if a woman was doing it? The only reason god punished David for "adultery" is because her husband was still alive, NOT because David was already married to Abigail.

Acts 9:7 claims that the men with Paul heard the voice but saw no one. Acts 22:9, speaking of the same event claim that they saw a light but heard no voice. Please clear this up for me, I'm confused.

Matthew 27:5 states: "And he [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself" while Acts 1:18 claims: "Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."

Once again, I am confused. I know that in order to make the Bible true, you will claim that obviously BOTH of these things happened, but someone as educated as yourself would have to admit that these two passages give a glaringly contradicting account of what actually happened. If the Bible were inerrant and inspired, why didn't God make it easier for laymen such as myself to understand? Why do I have to ask you for the answers? Why isn't my immediate response to such a contradiction the same as yours? Why can't I see clearly that obviously BOTH of these things happened?

I will give you some time to formulate your response to my questions. I hope that your answer will not be as condescending as your last, as your religion does not afford you the right to be cruel. Please be patient with those of us who are not as wise and discerning as you.

Huey said...

Anonymous siad:

"Do you know everything? No? How about half of everything? No? Well, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you know half of everything... do you have any conception of the enormity of what you don't know?"

Of course I don't know everyting. Nobody does but your attempt to use that fact to provide some foundation for your position is ludicrous.

"Maybe the ark was big."

We already know how big the ark was, remember? And it was not large enough to hold dinosaurs, even peaceful, coconut eating T-Rexs. Unless uh, the bible is wrong about the size of the ark (Heaven forbid!).

"It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day."

The emperor that you quote lived some 1100 years before Joshua was "supposed" to have lived. In addition, the tale does not describe a "long day" but a day with ten suns. The emperor had a subordinate shoot down 9 of the suns, there by showing his divine right to rule, which all leaders seem to need (Prez Bush comes to mind). It is easier to rule the uneducated and ignorant poplace when you are the god's represenative on Earth. In addition, these other myths do not say a long day, some say several days. Such tales are common to most cultures. It does not lend them credence. The myth of dragons is a common theme in history, but there is no truth to it. As for stating that these various accounts happened at the same time that your Joshua lived I would have to ask how you know that? Does the bible say that he lived in 1278 BC? You are presenting wishful supposition and trying to pass it off as fact. Do you remember the super nova a few years back and how bright it was? Science shows that they can and are even brighter than that. What would primitive man make of such a thing? The nova referenced was certainly not the first the human race would have seen and would have been taken by earlier humans as a "long day", second sun, the gods warring, a sign of impropriety, etc. Anything but for what it was.

You would have more cred here if you quoted knowledge that could be confirmed, not some religious document ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) that tells either half the story while ignoring pertinate facts, or changes the facts to suit the doctrine.

Spoomonkey said...

Richard B (aka Porscheguy19)

While I can only hope that someone with more inclination to take you to school dissects your points for the flaming sack of dog crap that they are, I would like to make one very obvious point...

I don't need much in the way of evidence to prove that Xianity is bull shit. Why? Because we have people like you running around.

Christian's are the most obvious proof that God is fairly powerless and completely incapable of changing a person's life. Yes - you, Richard B, are living proof that Christianity is bullshit. Christianity takes comeplete assholes - "arms" them with arrogance (and very little else) - and turns them loose on the world (the great comission, eh?) as... well... Assholes.

You do realize that any chance you have to share your faith with anyone is lost in your inability to show an ounce of "godly" compassion. If there is a god, he is ashamed of you.

And as an ex-xian, you only serve to remind me of the evil that I left behind when I walked away from the Kool-Aid vat...

Spoomonkey

Bill said...

I have a rule of thumb when I acertain I will be reading a Christian post, especially a rather lengnthy one. I do I real quick visual scan and if I see many Bible verses quouted within, I move on. I have no interest as to what the porcshe guy said, and I will leave it at that.

xrayman

Thackerie said...

"I have a rule of thumb when I acertain I will be reading a Christian post, especially a rather lengnthy one. I do I real quick visual scan and if I see many Bible verses quouted within, I move on. I have no interest as to what the porcshe guy said, and I will leave it at that."

Dang, Bill, once again you've stated my sentiments exactly. I'm beginning to think we must be twins separated at birth. (Not identical, though ;-)

Bill said...

Well I am glad to hear it Thack, I guess great minds think alike. I have had a very longterm email relationship with a devout Bible literalist. It's very interesting getting into the mind of such a person. One thing I always say to him is........"No Bible quotes please." He can't resist sometimes but he does a pretty fair job for the most part.

xrayman

Anonymous said...

So the Mexicans experienced a 'long day' ... Shouldn't that have been a long night, or perhaps the world really is flat... I know! it was flat but became round after the flood ;)
Great site by the way. Sorry for being Anon. My name's Boe.

Jamie said...

So the Mexicans experienced a 'long day' ... Shouldn't that have been a long night, or perhaps the world really is flat... I know! it was flat but became round after the flood ;)

See, it's stuff like that that makes me realize how I bought into the brainwashing so easily...it hadn't occurred to me that Mexico couldn't have had a long DAY the at the same time as the Isrealites...I guess I spent so much time not thinking that I need to give myself time to learn to think! Though believe me, I'm starting to notice the holes EVERYWHERE.

The Anti Atheist said...

Dennis, sounds like you had a lot of questions that your pastor didn't even try to answer.

But why do you call this an "ex" Christian testimony? You gave no indication you ever were a Christian, but just like to mix it up with Christians.

The churhes are full of people like you, and people who are there for social reasons, political reasons, all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with Christianity.

That being the case, of course the churches are corrupted...and then people like you who were never really part of it turn around and throw smears, ridicules, and lies.

Atheism in action!

And, of course, when you have leaders who are dedicated to officially atheistic philosophies, then you learn that they plan HELL on earth for YOU.

You see, I came from a family that lived under these conditions, although I was born in the US of A.

And there are many of us here now.

So, you see, there is a large contingent of us that you are not going to be able to fool about the "ethical glories of atheism" as the ex Marxist war monger Christopher Hitchens likes to say.

We will never submit to atheist rule.

.:webmaster:. said...

AA makes trolls with yet another immature and silly remark.

Run along, child.

Huey said...

Gotta admit I like the phrase "Atheism in action!" We should have t-shirts made.

Long day/long night! Great one Boe! That slipped by me completely!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Mr. AA here almost put me to sleep. and I'm WIRED right now; three cups of coffee and a few of his sentences later, and I feel like I need to hit the hay. "WE WILL NEVER SUBMIT TO ATHEIST RULE!!! SEIG HEIL!!!"

What a dumbass.

stronger now said...

"We will never submit to atheist rule."

Even if we ask you nicely? Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top? Not even a little bit? Oh come on now, you know you want to.

imaginary sky daddy said...

"We will never submit to atheist rule."

LMAO!!! Help me please!!!