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Author Topic:   Pick and Choose Fundamentalism
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2199
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 1 of 384 (430260)
10-24-2007 3:09 AM


A recent off-topic reply of mine at Message 155 has got me to thinking about how Biblical fundamentalists pick and choose what portions of the Bible that one should live by and what portions one is allowed to ignore.

I have noticed that according to Biblical Christians (using jar's term) one book in particular, Genesis, is considered literally inerrant, yet other books, such as Deuteronomy or Leviticus can just be ignored depending upon the personal whim of the fundie.

Why don't all fundamentalists of the literal and inerrant persuasion look like this guy? http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780743291477&itm=1

So what gives? What is the rationale for worshiping each word in Genesis and ignoring what one does not like in Leviticus or Deuteronomy?

ABE - Looks like a Bible inerrancy topic to me :)

Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.

Edited by anglagard, : move ABE to end

Edited by anglagard, : Accurately quote jar as per message 3 and 18


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 384 (430284)
10-24-2007 10:14 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
jar
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Posts: 31056
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 3 of 384 (430287)
10-24-2007 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
10-24-2007 3:09 AM


Just a small gnit.
You said, "I have noticed that according to Biblicists (using jar's term) ..."

Actually, that was IIRC where I was replying to Buz's use of the term.

I happen to think there really are Biblicists; Spidey, Brian and doctrbill come to mind from our current membership, but I have yet to come across a Fundie or Biblical Christian I would consider a "Biblicist."

For me, a Biblicist actually studies what is written in the Bible as well as the additional outside evidence related.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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SGT Snorkel
Junior Member (Idle past 3896 days)
Posts: 23
From: Boone, IA USA
Joined: 07-25-2006


Message 4 of 384 (430300)
10-24-2007 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
10-24-2007 3:09 AM


I call them 24 verse Christians because they seem to base their theology on a couple of dozen or so verses.

I wish there was an easy answer to this question. I like to think that I have studied the Bible (the Protestant Canon, Jar) more than most, but I am certain that I pick and choose some verses over others.

Probably a lot of reasons, personal biases, upbringing, to a certain extent reading comprehension. Also most people prefer Yes/No answers to Well, maybe answers. I have often found that the Bible is more confusing than an Army Regulation, so sometimes I prefer the simple answer, too.

I hope that this answer is heading in the direction you intended, would hate to go off topic so early in a thread.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3550
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 5 of 384 (430306)
10-24-2007 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by SGT Snorkel
10-24-2007 11:29 AM


I forget exactly where I heard this, but someone pointed out about year ago that this situation is somewhat new and brought on by the sudden surge of fundamentalist converts starting with the "Jesus Freak" movement circa 1970.

As the explanation goes, those churches used to minister mainly to those who were born into the faith and so they had a life-long program of Bible study laid out for the youth as they would grow up. They strove for developing a thorough knowledge of the Bible -- colored by their theology, of course. Part of the Baptist tradition used to be that each member would study the Bible and come to their own conclusions and interpretations of Scripture, only able to agree to disagree. The denomination wasn't really in a position to dictate the members' beliefs.

Then suddenly they were deluged with new members, brand-new adult members, who had never gone through their educational program. These new members had to be brought up to speed immediately. So the churches had to pick and choose key passages to spoon feed them and to tell them exactly what those key passages had to mean. This changed the climate within the churches and the denominations to where the ministers and the denomination started to dictate exactly what the congregations' beliefs had to be. And the congregations largely failed to carry through with their Bible study -- and even those who did continue their studies were already a couple decades behind in their homework -- and so they would cling to those key picked-and-chosen passages while ignoring the rest of the Bible.

That was the explanation that had been given by a former fundamentalist (I'm pretty sure he was). FWIW.

Personally, I think that while they fervently hold to their beliefs, most fundamentalists have no idea where those beliefs come from. In one email exchanged a creationist had started with me, he insisted absolutely that he only believed the Bible and that if the Bible were to be found to contains even a single error then the entire thing was a lie and should be thrown into the trash and he would have no choice but to become an atheist. So I asked him where in the Bible that it said that; ie, what exactly did he base that belief on. And he was suddenly far too busy to continue the correspondence.


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SGT Snorkel
Junior Member (Idle past 3896 days)
Posts: 23
From: Boone, IA USA
Joined: 07-25-2006


Message 6 of 384 (430308)
10-24-2007 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
10-24-2007 11:59 AM


Good Explanation
I never heard that story, but if it isn't true it ought to be.

Thank you for your reply.


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Taz
Member (Idle past 1483 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 7 of 384 (430311)
10-24-2007 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
10-24-2007 11:59 AM


dwise1 writes:

That was the explanation that had been given by a former fundamentalist (I'm pretty sure he was).


That explanation sounds reasonable, but I think the problem goes deeper than that.

I was raised and grew up fundamentalist. I attended bible studies twice a week. Once a week, I went to a very large church for worship that was intended for youths that lasted usually 2 to 3 hours. This is not to mention the daily reading of the bible and the almost daily lecture about biblical stuff by my parents. This went on for about 15 or so years. And never once did the moral issue of the extermination of the Canaanites came up.

Now, lets look at the following passages.

Joshua 6: 20-21

quote:
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

The word extermination doesn't even begin to describe accurately what happenned to the people of Jericho.

In a city, we have to assume that there are both old and young men. We have to assume that there are both old and young women. And we have to assume that there are children, some of them as young as a few months to a few weeks old.

Would an all loving god command a person to brutally murder hundreds of little infants?

I first heard this question when I was about 18 when I finally stepped out into the real world. In all the years that I attended lectures after lectures about the bible, never once did I hear anything to answer this question. So, I did what people like Buzsaw, Nem_Jug, Phat, Gen, etc. are doing right now. I made up excuses for the murder of little infants. I insisted that the people of Jericho were sinners.

But as time went by, I eventually was forced to look closer at the word "sinners". What on earth can a 1 year old do to deserve death? What about those 2 months old? What about those pregnant women? Now, I have always been someone that considers the fetus a fully human being. I still consider the fetus a human being. I couldn't answer those questions without admitting for once that the god described in the bible is anything but an all loving god. In fact, this god seems to lack the most basic of morals.

I guess the point of this post is ignoring certain parts of the bible at will is not just the only problem. It's ignoring the context and the moral/immoral implications of the very god that christianity claims to be an all loving, all moral god.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2381 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 8 of 384 (430312)
10-24-2007 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
10-24-2007 12:49 PM


good point. I experienced similar situations while growing up and had similar unanswered questions.
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3151 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 9 of 384 (430316)
10-24-2007 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
10-24-2007 12:49 PM


What on earth can a 1 year old do to deserve death?

A distant relative ate a fruit off a tree, so of course a 1 year old child born over 3 thousand years later deserves to die.
If God let them off with that what would be next, staying up late?


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3550
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 10 of 384 (430321)
10-24-2007 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
10-24-2007 12:49 PM


Yes, certainly there's a lot in the Bible that's just too inconvenient for them so they turn a blind eye to it.

To provide some context, as I thought about it more I remembered that the person who related that explanation was talking about how creationists think nothing about lifting everything they reference out of context. His explanation for that was that they think it's proper scholarship to do so because they do it to the Bible all the time. And then he related the explanation I posted earlier.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15200
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 11 of 384 (430332)
10-24-2007 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
10-24-2007 3:09 AM


Because to them the Bible is just there to prop up their beliefs. When you see them splitting a verse in two to try to hide the context as NJ did just a little while ago you can see that. And there are plenty more examples.

They literally do not care about what the Bible really says. It is just an excuse to put words in God's mouth.


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5715
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 12 of 384 (430356)
10-24-2007 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
10-24-2007 3:09 AM


Never condemn others on a charge you do not understand yourself
I have noticed that according to Biblicists (using jar's term) one book in particular, Genesis, is considered literally inerrant, yet other books, such as Deuteronomy or Leviticus can just be ignored depending upon the personal whim of the fundie.

Of the five books of the Pentateuch, Genesis is almost entirely a chronicling of the first people. It is supposed to be a historical lesson which is interlaced with symbolism. Therefore, the only arguments that can be made against the book of Genesis is questions about its historicity, veracity, and accuracy.

The bulk of the remaining deals with a lot of history, but much of it also deals with Jewish customs and Laws-- laws, mind you, that were given by Moses, as opposed to given to Moses.

So you ask: Why not then view the other books of the Torah with the same importance. Well, I can't speak for everyone, but as a Christian, I can speak for myself.

I view those books as every bit as important as any other. I also reject the notion, propositioned by some Christians, that the Old Testament is of no importance any longer because of Jesus. I reject that rationale because if you want a well-rounded understanding of why Jesus did and say the things He did, one has to first understand those customs and Laws.

You may further ask: Why is the Law no longer important then? Did Jesus do away with the Law?

It still is important. It will always be important. And Jesus did NOT do away with the Law, but rather, He fulfilled it-- as He is our Passover, He is our sacrificial Lamb, He is our atonement. All of these sentiments are gleaned from the Tanahk. They are very important.

Perhaps, though, I am not explaining it as well as the Scriptures could. So without further delay:

Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?

You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written:

    "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:

    "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved.

What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin....

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16804
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 13 of 384 (430360)
10-24-2007 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Hyroglyphx
10-24-2007 7:44 PM


Re: Never condemn others on a charge you do not understand yourself
If you're going to quote great swaths of the Bible, how about giving a citation?

Romans 2:17-3:31


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
-- Joseph Goebbels
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This message is a reply to:
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Jaderis
Member (Idle past 1617 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 14 of 384 (430366)
10-24-2007 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Hyroglyphx
10-24-2007 7:44 PM


Re: Never condemn others on a charge you do not understand yourself
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

So explain again how this justifies cherry-picking the laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy?

Why are sins such as murder, theft, adultery and homosexuality so much more egregious in the eyes of certain Christians than, say, working on the sabbath, back-talking to your parents or eating unclean foods?


"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London

"Hazards exist that are not marked" - some bar in Chelsea


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5715
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 15 of 384 (430374)
10-24-2007 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by ringo
10-24-2007 8:02 PM


Re: Never condemn others on a charge you do not understand yourself
If you're going to quote great swaths of the Bible, how about giving a citation?

I forgot. Thanks.


"Whatever weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things-- in short, if anything increases the power and the authority of the flesh over the spirit, that to you becomes sin, however good it may be in itself." -Suzanna Wesley
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