You don't throw your bills away and worship the envelopes.
I don't worship the bills either. Your analogy is struggling.
You misread that metaphor and took it personally when it wasn't. Such is the ambiguity of English.
Rather, that should have read in the French style: "One does not throw one's bills away and worship the envelopes."
Language note: French makes extensive use of the impersonal pronoun "on", which corresponds to the English use of "one" that I just deployed, even when we would not expect it (eg, when describing the actions of a particular group where we would use "they", French still uses "on") -- that makes watching French content on Netflix more fun, catching where they use "on".
So ringo was not describing what you personally would do, but rather what one should do.
So in determining what is true, which should we do? Examine the "message" and test it in order to determine whether it is true? Or automatically accept everything that a particular authority says?
Here's an example. There was a creation/evolution documentary which was fairly balanced and consisted entirely of interviews with individuals on both sides (eg, scientists and professors and ministers and professional creationists -- thankfully very few of that last group) with a bare minimum of commentary (none, according to my memory) and no conclusions expressed explicitly.
The main difference between genuine Christian believers and the world in general is that they consider the Bible as the word of God, an authority above man made theories and conclusions.
. . .
The first evidence that the true believer has is the word of God and everything else has to be tested by it.
The world on the other hand puts the opinions and conclusions of man above revelation and God. So there is no harmony there.
It does not mean that science cannot be married to creationism, it just means that the conclusions drawn which contradict the Bible have to be left out.
If I were to talk about global flood dynamics, the Bible would be my first and only reference, which has authority over and above the world. It does not matter if other thoughts and conclusions disagree with it.
On HBO I watched a documentary, "Questioning Darwin". As I recall, there was no narrator, but rather it consisted of several people talking about creation/evolution. Only a few of the people featured were pro-evolution; the majority were young-earth creationists and leaders in fundamentalist ministries.
In one clip, a creationist proclaimed proudly about the strength of his faith being such that if he were to find in the Bible that 2+2 is five, then that is how it is and nothing could possibly shake his belief in 2+2=5 and he would actively oppose the atheist teaching of 2+2=4. OK, I did embellish that last part a bit, but it is absolutely true that he stated that if he were to find in the Bible that 2+2=5, then that is how it is and that is what he would believe absolutely regardless of any amount of non-biblical evidence that it really is 2+2=4.
That is the same position that you are arguing for, that the Bible must take precedence over reality. That may whisper "faithful" in your ear, but it shouts "delusional!" to normal people. And it is a blasphemy to the Creator, since you are placing the Word of Man over the Word of God.
[NOTE, DWise1, 2021 Jun 15: To explain that last sentence, if all of Nature and physical reality was actually created by God, then that is God's Word. The Bible was written by Man and hence is the Word of Man. To quote from a filk song, "Man wrote the Bible, God wrote the World." ]
You can prove that 2 + 2 = 4 and you can trust any source on that question that tells you that true statement, regardless of religion, ideology, or lack thereof.
Or your religion could teach you that 2 + 2 = 5 and the only reason you would ever believe and trust that would be because it is your religion that tells you that.
So we see that what's true is true and what's false is false regardless of the source. Sources which we might never be inclined to trust can provide us with the truth and sources that we trust completely can feed us falsehoods.
"2 + 2 = 4" is the message and its sources are the messengers. A particular messenger can deliver a false message (eg, your religion when it teaches "2 + 2 = 5") and that false message will still be false regardless of how much you trust that messenger. And an untrusted messenger can (and often does) deliver a true message which will continue to be true regardless of how much you distrust that messenger.
Therefore, the message is truly more important than the messenger.
So then tell us, how much is two plus two?
Now let's take another tack.
In one lecture, my Rabbinic Literature professor, Rabbi Kalir, explained the difference between two methods of teaching: 1) khalakhah (academic analysis of a teaching -- I'm sure that I got the name wrong after half a century) and 2) aggadah (teaching through the telling of illustrative stories). In that lecture, Rabbi Kalir compared aggadah with telling a joke: any given joke has hundreds of different variations, but despite often widely different build-ups, the punch line is always the same. Similarly, in teaching a given lesson there are a vast number of different stories you can chose from or even concoct your own, but the actual lesson, like the punch line, will always be the same.
So, which is more important? The story or the lesson? Following ringo's metaphor, the story is the messenger but the lesson is the message.
Pick just about any Bible story and it should follow that same aggadah pattern. Each story has lessons that it tries to teach. So which is more important? The story itself (ie, the messenger) or the lesson (ie, the message)?
Now to my mind, that is where biblical literalists go seriously wrong. They are so hung up on all the stories themselves (ie, the messengers) being literally true or else the entire Bible is false and God does not exist. They are worshipping the messenger and losing the message.
Well, with that attitude, why read the book if you don't want to listen to what it says?
An author writes a book in order to say something. Most of the time, authors use characters to deliver that message. Therefore, the most important things in a book will be said by the characters. So if you refuse to listen to the characters, then you will not hear the message. And if you're going to refuse to hear the message, then why even bother to read the book?
That holds true even if it's τον Βιβλιον. Which tells us yet again that you do not want to listen to what the Bible says.
Refer to the "Great Debate" thread, Message Message 16.
To begin with, my ex-wife, the worst and most malicious c**t in all my admittedly limited life experience, was Elena Guadalupe Wise, so "Ellen G. White" just plain hits far too close to the bone for me. No number of hand gestures for warding off evil could ever possibly offer any degree of protection against her evil. She also killed my younger son (ie, put that damned rifle in his adolescent hands against my strong objections) so, of course, she blamed me for it ... so there's a lot of unresolved crap there which motivates me to outlive her just so I can finally have access to the family photos, that evil c**t.
So, of course, the very name elicits so many negative memories and emotions. Which, of course, should have no bearing on Ellen G. White herself -- that needs to fall on its own lack of merit.
Ellen G. White was a Seventh Day Adventist (SDAist -- yes, that does allude to "sadist" which is fun, but not definitive). A helluva lot of YEC claims are SDAist going back so many decades. That includes George McCready Price from whom Henry Morris and other modern YECs have stolen ... er, researched ... so much.
On CompuServe circa 1990, there was a SDAist, Paul Ekdahl -- see my links at from CompuServe at Creation/Evolution Links . His posting style was to post creationist sources transcribed verbatim -- so slavishly so as to always include footnote numbers, but not the footnotes themselves. Respond to any of his postings and he would just post yet another verbatim creationist literature dump.
So finally after having hammered on him long enough, he finally posted a message that he himself had written. That immediately tried to convert me. When that failed, he tried to talk to me about the miracles surrounding his Ellen G. White.
Around the same time, he sent me a packet of SDA materials which were so virulent as to make Chick Pubs tracts look extremely moderate -- ie, one helluva reach.
In college while practicing Karate (from Fumio Demura, the model for Mr. Miyagi in "Karate Kid" -- the documentary "The Real Mr. Miyagi" or whatever is no longer on Netflix) I suffered a dislocated hip from a wall stretch with a beginner ( the most dangerous person in any dojo because you never know what a beginner will do), so I ended up in Aikido (The Way of Harmonizing Ki). That ended up with some woo-type stuff which actually works. Stuff that covers all of the Ellen G. White woo-type stuff.
So this Paul Ekdahl trying to convert me started describing some of the stuff that Ellen G. White could do when she had passed into a trance: made herself too heavy to lift, made her arm unbendable, formed a circle with her thumb and forefinger that couldn't be forced apart, etc. I told him that, yeah, through basic Aikido I'd been able to do all those things without ever having had to go into any trance. At that point, he suddenly had a lot of business to attend to and I never ever heard anything more from him in the next three decades.
So what kind of points are you trying to make regarding any Ellen G. White BS claims?
Edited by dwise1, : expanded what I had learned through Aikido
Edited by dwise1, : (ie, put that damned rifle in his adolescent hands against my strong objections)