Learning to think for myself

sent in by Marty Mets

I was raised from birth within the Evangelical Lutheran tradition. My childhood church also had a private school, and I attended there from kindergarten through eighth grade. I was somewhere on that campus six days a week, for at least half of the day, many times for much longer. I once made a conservative estimate that I spent at least 20,000 hours being indoctrinated into the Lutheran brand of Christianity. A quick glance at my report cards will show I got A’s in every one of my religion classes, and I was confirmed right on schedule when I was fifteen years old. That ceremony was the last time I went to church “willingly”. There was of course a spattering of Christmas Eve or Easter services to appease my mother, but I had basically figured out that Christianity was a sham during my second year of confirmation classes. I had never intended to come to this conclusion however and in fact I desired the very opposite.

Throughout my whole childhood, I secretly felt that most all of the traditions and rituals of the church were silly. The funny robes, the rituals involved with the sacraments, the chanting. The very idea of worshiping someone or something also seemed connected to primitive and outdated attitudes of royalty and monarchies to me, even as a child. I did not want to feel these things though, and I longed to be more pious like those I saw around me. I prayed to God every night to please show me that he exists, to please help me understand his will. Nothing but silence was returned to me. I invited Jesus into my heart and life so many times I cannot even fathom a guess to the number. Every time doubt would enter my mind, I would think, “Get behind me Satan!” Not only did it not work; it made absolutely no difference in the inner thoughts of my mind. Many Christians tell me that their personal experiences with God are proof that he exists. Well, I have personal experiences of the absence of God, even though I tried very hard to find him, so doesn’t that validate my position just as well?

I would also get grounded a lot as a kid. I wasn’t a bad or mischievous child; most of my offenses were coming home late or poor math grades. When I was grounded, the only thing I was allowed to do was read. In sixth grade I got grounded for a month, and quickly ran out of reading material, so I pulled the bible off the shelf and decided to read it from cover to cover as if it were a novel. Today I think that this is the single most important decision I ever made as a kid, because it changed my view of the bible and forced me to rethink everything I had been told up to that point. I was only 12, but I still was reading things that I found appalling and knew to be wrong and unfair. I was amazed at how women were treated and how death is so readily handed out to anyone without a second thought on it. I had been formally educated in a Christian environment for over seven years by this time, and I was discovering stories and commandments that I had never been taught before. It was almost as if I was reading a set of scriptures from some other religion other than my own. I had a million questions for my teachers in school, and couldn’t wait for my in-depth Confirmation classes that were by this time only a year away.

But no one in my church or school had any answers for me; at least nothing that I would consider an answer. Not even the local Bishop that taught some of my Confirmation classes had any adequate answers for me; most all of his “answers” just fueled more questions. This is when I first started to wonder if there were any solutions to the problems I was discovering in the first place. Being told that since Eve deceived Adam, women belong in a submissive position in society, and I shouldn’t listen so much to “modern feminism” just never sat well with me, yet I still was not willing to think that it was all just a Big Lie yet.

The straw that finally broke my back was when I was exiting the church after the completion of my Confirmation ceremony. There, right by the front door to the church, was my instructor with a large box in his arms. When I approached him, he looked in and pulled out a smaller box with my full name on it. It was a box of 52 envelopes of a kind I was quite familiar with; my parents had some of their own. They were offering envelopes. At that point it all became clear to me. The whole reason I was put through 2 years of religious training was not to “become an adult” in the church, like I had been told, but to become another schmuck that will blindly give them 10 percent of my income, so they don’t have to get a real job. Another piece of the puzzle was put in place, and at that very instant I became an Agnostic.

But I never stopped reading, and never lost my interest in religion, particularly Christianity. As I got older, I turned to more scientific subjects and neglected religion for a little bit, but after I finished school and began my career, religion came back to the front of my thinking. I bought books whose subjects were the very questions I was asking in church and Sunday school. I read them with zeal and then bought more.

But now things were different. I was by this time educated in the scientific method, and had been taught critical thinking and problem solving skills. I knew how to form a hypothesis, and then go about to prove or disprove it. I knew that one should never take only one side of a story, no matter where it came from, but strive to discover as many ways of looking at something as you can come up with, then compile your theory. These skills are important to discovering your inner spirit, as well as uncovering the truth about the world around you.

My search for the Divine consisted of both Christian apologetics and secular biblical and general scientific research. What I soon discovered was that the apologetic arguments were weak and unconvincing, relying only on faith, conjecture, and the bible, and answering very few of my questions. The half-baked answers I had been told during my upbringing were the very same things that were written within the books I was now reading. They gave plenty of reasons and explanations why Christians should believe what they do, but they never gave me an adequate rationale as to why I should regard the bible as authoritative in any way. They never bothered to discuss the horrid parts of the bible, never attempted to explain away the politically incorrect views it taught us were “lofty moral codes”. Never gave me a single reason to think that the stories in the bible were actual history while the stories of the Greeks and Romans were nothing but myth.

The secular scholarship did not answer many of my questions either, but it did discuss them in an educated and logical manner, as well as examining the “bigger picture”; such as any political motivations that were behind certain books or laws found in the bible. Also discussed in the secular books was the current archeology being conducted in the Holy Lands and how so little of their findings actually meshed with what the bible tells us.

Christian apologetics have a single motivating factor: to get you to believe what their doctrine says, no matter what. To me, as a young adult, the bias of the apologetics was obvious, and since I was reading secular studies concurrently, I was able to expose many contradictions and misrepresentations of the Christians (Creation Science is a perfect example) with relative ease. Likewise, since by now I had read the bible cover to cover twice, I knew that many justifications used by apologists were not to be found in the bible at all (the doctrine of the Trinity, for example) and were complete fabrications of the church!

10 years after I left the church, my grandmother died. We had her memorial service at my old church, and this was the first time I had been within a church’s walls in a very long time. The pastor stood up there talking about how my mom is grieving for her loss, yet my grandmother was in heaven meeting her other daughter for the first time (my mother had a twin that died 2 hours after birth). I had completely forgotten about this twin of my mother’s, and almost as soon as the words left the pastors mouth I had changed from an Agnostic to an Atheist. The emotional support that the church provides became so obvious to me I was surprised I never saw it before that moment. I think sometimes it takes coming back after many years in order to see how crazy the whole thing is.

My grandmother used to be a Catholic, but converted to Lutheranism to marry my grandfather. She was condemned to hell by her Priest for leaving Catholicism, and I wanted so bad to bring this fact up to the pastor as we were leaving the church. I kept my mouth shut though, out of respect for my mother. But the fact still remains that she was told by one church she would be going to hell, and told by another that she would go to heaven. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the church that condemned her was the one losing her business, and tried to scare her back. The church that let her into heaven was the one she had given money to for 20 some-odd years.

Religion never really affected me much after that until September 11, 2001. As I sat there watching the news reports and talking to a friend in New York, I realized that this ironically may be a good thing for the country, because it will show Americans what happens when you blindly accept a religious doctrine without fully thinking out its implications. Instead, America turned the “lesson” into a “my god can beat up your god” shouting match. All those people really did die in vain, America learned nothing.

I think the lessons from 9/11 should be obvious to everyone, but they are not. Religion divides, it does not unite. It generates love for followers, and intense hate for outsiders. Homosexuals, followers of other religions, or even other brands of xtianity are marginalized and despised for nothing more than thinking differently. Religion may have had an evolutionary benefit to our species in the past, but today, when we can destroy all life on earth with the push of a button, religion is very dangerous. Crusades and “holy” wars, as atrocious as they were, have the potential to cause much more harm today than at any other point in our history. We have to wake up and realize this.

Lighthouse Point
Joined at birth
Left around 14
Was: Evangelical Lutheran
Now: Atheist
Converted because: I was a child that didn't know any better
De-converted because: I actually read the bible and learned to think for myself
email: black3759 at bellsouth dot net


muttmutt1978 said...

wow. nice. aces to you. never go back. christians are mean.

jimearl said...

Thanks Marty, very interesting read. I often wonder how adults can use logic and reason for every aspect of their life except religion. I guess the reason is because most never really grow up and accept reality in their lives. They would rather believe than know. As for me and my house, we will accept reality as it unfolds. No need for religion. Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Marty Mets,
Your story made my day! The honesty and clarity of it leaves no room for criticism for your realization that you had been duped by the church and it's minions, and you decision to put it behind you, and join the real world.

I will be looking forward to reading more of what you have to say if you choose to make further comments on this excellent site.

I don't know how long you have been reading here, but I assure you if you stick around you will read some of the most honest and insightful prose ever written, (Mostly by the secular) plus some of the dumbest shit imaginable. (Mostly by the pious)
Dan (Secular)

xrayman said...

Marty I loved your line, "I have had many experiences with the absence of God." That is the story of my life. I've tried to find God and Jesus so many times, yet I've never received any return corrospondance. I've had many things in my life work themselves out, but mostly through my hard work. My recovery from alcoholism(15 Years Sober), was not from some fucking higher power. It was all me baby.

mq59 said...

Which sort of Evangelical Lutheran were you?

Jim said...

Hi Marty. enjoyed your article a lot. You said."Many Christians tell me that their personal experiences with God are proof that he exists." It just goes to prove that Christians are liars. Their imagination runs wild. Millions of Christians world wide believe the the New Testament Jesus was for real, but they have never researched the information for themselves. No one can be in this supposed heaven for the simple reason that the mythological Jesus has not returned snd the biblical judgment had not yet arrived. It's all crap. Cheers all Jim Lee

Anonymous said...

I was confirmed at 11 on a local television program.I now realize that christianity is the breeding ground for a HUGE buisness,and is extremely successful by the way.
This explains the need to personalize every aspect of gaud and the bible.....If your giving to the church then your giving to god,...bullcrap!The church is nothing but gigantic corporation!An
outdated old form of entertainment struggling to survive in a sea of informed and intelligent people like those on this site.


I agree freedy wholeheartedly. Paid clergy do nothing but make money of the ignorant and the uninformed. After much research I now know the facts just do not support Christianity. Its all a lie. A huge lie. Christianity is nothing more than a carbon copy of other religions in its day. I would say probably one of the greatest emotional hoaxes mankind will ever witness or experience. I now realize that my own personal "getting saved" experience was nothing more than adrenaline and my emotions mixing together. I am a very emotional and highly sensitive person and christianity was not the answer. It just led me down a path I should not have gone down. I'm very sorry I ever got involved.

Anonymous said...

mq59 said:
Which sort of Evangelical Lutheran were you?

Does it matter? I suppose you're going to tell me it was just because I went to the "wrong" church and if I went to yours, it would be different? Nice try, I've heard that before, and I went to many different churchs as a kid with my friends. Catholic, Presbyterian, Non Demonational, etc.

When it is all a lie, it dosen't matter what you call it, it's still a lie.

mq59 said...

Just curious.

Your comments about the church encouraging you to reject feminism indicate that this must have been among the more conservative sorts of Lutheranism.

Was it WELS? According to Wikipedia, they're the one that doesn't allow women to vote on church matters (or if they do now, it was changed relatively recently).

Marty Mets said...


This just proves my point that xtianity is a Big Lie. You have ONE book, yet over 200 different denominations that all believe a different "interpretation" of the "one true religion". How can this be?

Catholics believe the pope has a direct line to god and then tells us feeble humans what god wants. Protestants do not believe this, yet they worship the same god? Gimmie a break.

The sign in front of the church reads "Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church", it's in South Florida, you go find out what kind it was if it's that important to you. It dosen't matter to me, because it's the BOOK that it is all based on.

How about killing homosexuals? (Lev 20:13) I was told that the bible was the literal, inerrant Word of god. Yet, when I asked why we are not killing gay people when I was in 7th grade, I was told that this law was a "corrupt interpolation by man, and not appliciable today". Yet at the same time, my teacher was not able to tell me how one can figure out what is the W.O.G. and what is human error. It is either ALL the W.O.G., or it's all bogus, you can't have it both ways. Since we also have a story of a donkey speaking Hebrew (Num 22:21-30), I HAVE to conclude it is no different than Cronos emerging fully formed from Zeus' forehead, and thus nothing more than primitive myth.

What about Pat Robertson? Jerry Falwell? Billy Graham? Mother Terresa? They all supposedly worship the same deity, yet they all have vastly different views of what that "One True god" is. How can anyone say that Pat Robertson is wrong or warping the bible when his opinions ARE biblicly sound? As crazy as Robertson is, everything he says is backed up by the bible, just as everything Mother Terressa did was also commanded in the bible.

You can make that book say whatever you want it to say about anything. That is why it still has a chokehold on people! I find it hard to understand how people can not see this, it is so obvious.

Anonymous said...

Another testament to the adage: the more you know, the less you have to take on faith. And it seems to me that you have recognized that modern religion is really a form of latter-day tribalism. The true one tribe of man is made up of individuals who have made their peace with the universe and come together in many forms and forums such as this to recognize and reward each other with mutual respect and encouragement. Our tribe has no enemies, just an open invitation to one and all to liberate yourself with knowledge, courage, and generosity.

Anonymous said...

Marty, good to see your comments, so many observations you've made in your life, that are part of the consistent pattern many of the people on this site, have also experienced. The following statements stood out for me...

Marty Mets: "I had been formally educated in a Christian environment for over seven years by this time, and I was discovering stories and commandments that I had never been taught before."

Throughout history, the ones who were educated, were of a religious order, or were nobility. Over time, religious orders created universities, to "teach" subject matter according to their philosophy. For instance, Al-Azhar is the earliest recorded University and resides in Cairo, Egypt. It is generally considered to be the oldest university in the world.* It was founded roughly the same time as the city of Cairo, in 969 AD. The first lecture was delivered in 975 AD.

Like many centers of learning, Al-Azhar University was originally intended as a place of worship and religious instruction. The mosque at Al-Azhar is one of the most famous in the Muslim world, and is still considered the seat of Sunni Islamic study.

Private universities, have predominately been associated with religion. The United States's oldest university, Harvard, opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636, not long after the first English colonists arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

"During its early years, the College offered a classic academic course based on the English university model but consistent with the prevailing Puritan philosophy of the first colonists. Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination. An early brochure, published in 1643, justified the College's existence: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches."


The earliest public schools in the U.S., were individually created in many small town churches, as they had not been pulled up under federal oversight until the 1900's. The author Laura Ingels Wilder, wrote the Little House On The Prarie books, which reflect the educational setting within a church for a small prarie community.

Marty Mets: "Not even the local Bishop that taught some of my Confirmation classes had any adequate answers for me; most all of his “answers” just fueled more questions. This is when I first started to wonder if there were any solutions to the problems I was discovering in the first place."

Indulge me please, even if this appears as a tautology ;-), but... 1) Some people believe they can find the answers to the most driving questions they seek in life... and 2) Some people believe they can "never" find the answers to their most driving questions in life...

If you are more of the number 1 type, then you will clash with the number 2 types. The number 2 types, have no vested interest in helping number 1 types.

Its really that simple. Never ending questions, will always exist, as long as there is entropy/confusion at the input/information origin. For instance, the bible, as an initial source of information, is so convoluted, that it is designed to perpetuate the never ending question saga.

The early church fathers, created the NT to end the OT, and deny the Jews their exclusive rights as the chosen people. They wrote the NT in part to contradict, and teach against the authors of the OT. Its unfortunate, that many christians, actually perceive the bible, as one seamless and flawlessly "flowing" book of guidance, without error as if a god wrote the bible, or provided divine inspiration to the entirety of the bible in one sitting.

The OT failed prophesies, and the obvious contradictions between the OT and the NT, are enough to cause anyone looking for truth, to cringe. Only, when clergy become honest, and declare the real reasons the bible sits the way it does, due to political rife within the Roman Empire, will many questions be answered. Unfortunately, clergy for the most part in the U.S. are either ignorant of world history, or they feel that divulging such information will make the bible seem less godly.

Well, I could go on forever, but, I'll leave off here, its great to see another person freed of the mind altering truth journey of religion most akin to a mental race on a slick bending mobius loop, where the faster you go the more you realize you've been there before :-) Take care...

mq59 said...

On the matter of killing homosexuals, that was part of the Law of Moses which, although it is divinely inspired, is no longer binding (the Law was nailed to the cross).

The NT confirms the OT in that homosexual sex is immoral, but it doesn't demand killing anyone.

Also, on the matter of what the Law commanded, for anyone to be executed, there had to be several witnesses. In all likelihood, that portion of the Law was rarely invoked--who invites witnesses to homosexual trysts?

mq59 said...

BTW, on the matter of the talking donkey, it's not like the Bible says that talking animals are the order of the day--otherwise, you'd be right that it's nothing more than a fantasy novel.

Balaam's donkey (or ass if you prefer) was a fluke situation. God temporarily bent the "rules of reality" to get the point across.

Anonymous said...

MQ59: "Also, on the matter of what the Law commanded, for anyone to be executed, there had to be several witnesses. In all likelihood, that portion of the Law was rarely invoked--who invites witnesses to homosexual trysts?

I'll play... Who invites witnesses to the scene of a murder? According to your logic - not many. However, your god pimped his own son off to the Roman soldiers, so they could have their way with him, and yet, there were plenty of witnesses.

MQ59: "God temporarily bent the "rules of reality" to get the point across."

Hey, MQ, can you tell the difference between your god bending reality, and of course, Satan bending reality? I mean, if you divorce your senses from this natural reality, then of course, you have no clue as to who is bending or warping your sense of reality. So, do you enjoy your perception of reality, as its manipulated in front of your very eyes, without having a clue to whether or not you are following Satan or not? If you read your bible, you would realize that god is said to be both the bringer of both good and evil "alone", with no help in the OT. At least at that point, your argument makes sense, as all bent reality, would be attributed to big sky daddy. However, the NT throws Satan in the mix, never mind, where this little fella' was sitting since "everything" was created in six days (as one option) in the universe. So, now, you don't have the ability to determine when Satan is involved in your life, or not. Bad for you, but great job security for religious priests, etc., who perform exorcisms.

Perhaps, one day, we will see you on the evening news, with a priest beating you with a baseball bat, trying to get the devil out of you, because the priest is seeing you through a "bent reality".

Anonymous said...

The talking animals were thru-out the O.T. fables,but were removed by those crazy cannonizers.
In the original story of Noah,the jews taught that Noah could communicate with all the animals. They would argue with him etc....The Rabbi's told these stories to their children as fables.

Read "Legends of the Bible" by Rabbi louis Ginzberg"

* These stories were edited to shorten and increase credibility
by removing the ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Dave8: "1) Some people believe they can find the answers to the most driving questions they seek in life... and 2) Some people believe they can "never" find the answers to their most driving questions in life..."

You are a type 2, MQ... Always, creating scenarios, whence, you can never find direct and predictable "answers". You creatively produce scenarios based on your opinion, to promote doubt and inspire further "questions", that have no possible way of being answered.

There are such things, as "good" questions... and "bad" questions... Good questions, are answerable to a great extent... And then, there are the questions that you promote, where you create answsers, that perpetuate and fuel "more" questions, without a possible endstate, because at the end of the million questions, you enter the answer "only god knows", or... that is to be understood once you enter into a "transcendent reality called heaven", or... well, god who lives in a transcendent reality, is bending your preception at will... so you never really know anything...

The day you can discern between "good" questions, and "bad" questions, you will have a more "productive" and "predictable" life, until then, you are living in a bent reality MQ. The questions you suggest are the most driving for you, are irrelevant for many, because your questions are built, and couched, so they can not be answered. When answers start coming forth with science, etc., the religious community, begins re-building the questions, so they can continue to remain "relevant" as mediators to christ and god.

If all questions could be answered MQ, we would be gods, no? And, all the questions I feel are pertinent in this life... have been answered, yes, that makes me god in my life. Perhaps, you can persuade me, to believe, there are "more" questions that I really, really, really, need answered, so that you can continue to creatively produce and rebuild unanswerable questions, that end in some "transcendent" reality, beyond the scope of our knowledge. Right, beyond the scope of our knowledge, but then, how did you get knowledge of the trascendent reality, MQ, oh, that's right, only god knows. Religion, is a self-licking ice-cream cone, a perpetual circle jerk, and everyone gets to watch that tryst in society as it plays out in public schools, media outlets, and in every public forum imaginable.

webmdave said...

"God temporarily bent the 'rules of reality' to get the point across."

And you know this how?

How about dragons and unicorns? More bending going on, or were those just God letting man mistranslate his word again?

Marty Mets said...

Mq59: On the matter of killing homosexuals, that was part of the Law of Moses which, although it is divinely inspired, is no longer binding (the Law was nailed to the cross).

First off, jesus himself tells us that “not one iota” of the old law can be changed until the world passes away, so could you explain this contradiction to me? (Matt 5:18)

But while I’m waiting for you to reply, why are xtians trying to get the ten commandments posted in the public square? If the Law of Moses is no longer binding, then why fight to post it in government buildings?

Creationism and ID are based on the OT book of Genesis, yet if the OT is no longer binding, why are xtians fighting so hard to keep these myths "valid"?

Tithing is also commanded in the OT, so why do you still give money to the church if the OT law is no longer binding?

You can not have it both ways. If you tell me the OT is not binding, then you cannot use anything from the OT in your apologetic arguments, yet xtains do it all the time, when the OT will serve their purpose. When it doesn’t, or the text in question is embarrassing, then the law is "no longer binding". But there is plenty I find disgusting with the NT too, like jesus condoning slavery (Luke 7:1-10) and paul demanding subservience of women (1 Tim 2:9-15; 1 Cor 14:34-35; Ephesians 5:21-24). It's not just the OT.

Can you explain to me how a donkey's larynx can produce the sounds needed for speech? The reasons humans have complex speech and not other apes and animals is the physical construction of our voice box. Please explain how a donkey can produce all the sounds needed for human speech.

And to everyone else here, thanks for the warm welcome. I had lurked here for a few weeks before posting, but I must say I did not quite expect the replies I got from you all. I guess I’m so used to being attacked when people learn I’ve “strayed from the flock”, and even though this is a site for people like me, you kind of expect the negativity. It really feels good to discuss this stuff with people openly, and I’m learning all sorts of new stuff reading everyone’s replies on other threads. I’m looking forward to coming here a lot! This site is a godsend…oops, did I just say that!?!? :)

Marty Mets said...

dave8: Indulge me please, even if this appears as a tautology ;-), but... 1) Some people believe they can find the answers to the most driving questions they seek in life... and 2) Some people believe they can "never" find the answers to their most driving questions in life...

I guess I'm number 1, I don't think my answers will be the "right" ones, but I am driven to have a general understanding for everything. Not to the point of making crap up like gods or anything, but whenever I observe something, I will wonder why it is the way it is. It's hard for me to accept anything on faith, I've even been known to take apart a studio I've just been hired at just to fully understand how they wired the place up.

But what I was talking about there was simple problems that the church couldn't explain, like how god could have created plants on day 3 and the sun on day 4, and how could you have "night and day" before the sun and moon were created.

Another BIG question to me was the actual mechanical way blood sacrifice washes sin away. Why am I to believe that jesus' death will enable me to be forgiven? How does this actually work?

These were the things that were not able to be explained to me, and in fact just fueled more questions. One of my favorite Einstein quotes is: "The important thing to remember is never to stop asking why".

mq59 said...

The OT and Law are not completely useless--much of the NT is foreshadowed in the OT and the history of the Jewish people is often relevant for Christians today.

I said that the legal aspects of the Mosaic Law are no longer binding--ie you don't have to destroy a pot if a lizard falls in it or things like that.

In Acts, Peter and the apostles, upon learning that many Gentiles have become Christians, write up a list of rules for Gentile Christians. There are about seven of them.

Also in Acts, Peter has a vision where God tells him to eat various sorts of "unclean" animals. When Peter protests, God says not call things "unclean" that God says are clean. That seems (to me) to nix the dietary laws.

On the matter of things being "fulfilled," Jesus could have been referring to His death/resurrection, which fulfilled the OT.

mq59 said...

Marty Mets,

Many of the verses that contain Paul supposedly endorsing the subordination of women are, in the historical context, NOT endorsing subordination of women.

For example, "women must learn in silence and full submission." Women in those days were often uneducated (esp. among the lower classes), so that's actually a pretty radical statement in the grossly sexist Mediterranean world.

Furthermore, "I do not permit a woman to hold authority over a man" is translated as "I do not permit a woman to usurp authority over a man."

There are some writings by "evangelical feminists" that purport that Paul was criticizing a group of women who were convinced that since Eve ate the forbidden fruit first, women were smarter then men and should be in charge. They also mixed worship of Diana into the mix.

Furthermore, even if Paul is expressly saying women should not hold authority over men, perhaps he's advocating a sort of division of labor. Male Christian leaders would deal with male Christians, female Christian leaders with female Christians. Makes some sense--what do I know about the problems women face?

The matter of women being silent in chuch was referring to women who were talking out of turn and asking questions that should better be asked at home (the comment about asking their husbands).

You raise a good point re: the Ten Commandments in public. Kurt Vonnegut wondered why conservative Christians don't want the Beautitudes put up instead.

Perhaps it is b/c the Ten Commandments are part of the Law and therefore relevant to the practice of law (the Supreme Court has the Ten on its facade and, unlike the Ten Commandments in Alabama, they've been there for centuries).

mq59 said...


Where in the Bible are dragons and unicorns?

J. C. Samuelson said...

Congratulations on your escape! I enjoyed your post and hope you stick around awhile.


"The OT and Law are not completely useless..."

So it seems. Do you tithe, or believe Christians should tithe? Given the fact that the only place that tithing is expressly prescribed is under the first covenant (OT), wouldn't this be another example of cherry-picking the verses that are tolerable?

The Ten Commandments are OK, tithing is OK, but killing homosexuals, rape victims, and disobedient children is not OK. Oh, but that doesn't mean homosexuals, disobedient children, etc. should be tolerated! Oh no!

Please. Even Christians can't work out what they're supposed to believe about the Law. That's why so many are ignorant of it. Pick a mainstream denomination today, and rarely will you hear a sermon that picks the Law as a topic, except to tie it into Jesus' atonement. Well, maybe you'd it in a Pentecostal or Baptist church.

And no, the fact that thithing is mentioned in the NT does not mean it supports it or recommends it, just in case you were thinking of taking this approach.

Also, no matter how you slice it, spin it, or interpret it, the Bible is one huge misogynistic text. I'm busy writing a piece on this very subject in my off time because of the discussion I'm having via email with a Christian who is trying to say the same thing you are. Maybe I'll send it to the WM for posting when it's all said and done. For now, I'm not going into it here.

"...the Ten Commandments are part of the Law and therefore relevant to the practice of law"

Except for the love the Lord thy God and have no other gods before me crap. The Code of Hammurabi is also part of the law. So is Roman law. What of it?

"In Acts, Peter and the apostles, upon learning that many Gentiles have become Christians, write up a list of rules for Gentile Christians. There are about seven of them.

Also in Acts, Peter has a vision where God tells him to eat various sorts of "unclean" animals. When Peter protests, God says not call things "unclean" that God says are clean. That seems (to me) to nix the dietary laws."

So, God does change his mind then? This contradicts the Bible, you know.

Wouldn't it make more sense MQ, to say that Peter, Paul, Mary, and the other apostles were making things up as they went, marketing their new version of Judaism-lite, promising freedom from all the old, restrictive BS people were tired of living under? Or, in the case of the gentiles (who had beliefs in some pretty brutal gods), relief from the promise of punishment for any minor transgression against any of a number of gods.

Jim Arvo said...

MQ59: "On the matter of killing homosexuals, that was part of the Law of Moses which, although it is divinely inspired, is no longer binding..."

But you will admit that at one time it *was* okay to kill homosexuals, disobedient children, witches, non-virgin brides, etc. Is that correct?

MQ59: "On the matter of things being 'fulfilled,' Jesus could have been referring to His death/resurrection, which fulfilled the OT."

Did his death/resurrection make him King of the Jews? Did it bring world peace? Does all of mankind now bow to single god? I think the answer to these would have to be "no", which means that even if the death & resurrection of Jesus were factual, they still would not fullfill OT messianic prophecy.

Marty Mets said...

I can't read ancient Greek, so instead I bought a modern translation of the gospels called the Scholars Version. It translates directly from the original Greek into modern English, unlike modern bibles which were translated into English from Latin, which was translated from the Greek hundreds of years ago. The SV translates Matt 5:18 as this:

"I swear to you, before the world disappears, not one iota, not one serif, will disappear from the Law, until that happens. Whoever ignores one of the most trivial of these regulations, and teaches others to do so, will be called trivial in Heaven's domain. But whoever acts on [these regulations] and teaches [others to do so], will be called great in Heaven's domain."

Last I checked, the world has not disappeared yet, so that means that even the smallest of the OT laws (like the lizard in the pot you mentioned, which I was not aware of, where can I find that?) MUST be obeyed. This came directly from jesus' mouth, or so they say.

It really doesn’t matter what rules or laws paul made up for the gentiles or anybody else, unless you put paul on a higher level than jesus. Is that what you're trying to say? Paul contradicts jesus in other places as well, although this is one of the more obvious ones. It makes more sense (to me, at least) that paul did not want to get circumcised and have to pay attention to all the crazy dietary laws of the Jews, so he decided to write that those things are not needed anymore. Since paul never met jesus and seems to be ignorant of much of jesus’ teachings, he wasn’t aware that his new laws directly contradict what jesus taught!

In regards to women in the NT, you seem to be assuming things that are not written in the text. Many of the letters written by paul were to communities that were straying from what paul considered "authentic xtianity". He doesn’t just belittle women; he is telling the community how they should model themselves. 1 Timothy, for example, describes how bishops and deacons are to behave, yet I'm expected to take the submission of women in some way other than literal? If so, then why are the descriptions of behavior for the male positions to be taken literally, but not the women?

And since women were not educated in the first century, does that excuse their submissive role in xtian society? Why not start a truly revolutionary idea and educate women equally to men, if xtians are so equally minded like many claim. And could you please give me an example of a question that should not be asked by a woman in church, but is OK for a man to ask? What kinds of questions are only applicable to be asked by a woman at home? And why aren’t men commanded to “learn in submissivness”?

And I notice you make no comment on jesus' acceptance of slavery. When the Roman brings his slave (or another slave brings him, depending on which gospel you're reading) for jesus to heal, he tells the crowd how wonderful it is that a Roman has faith, and then heals the slave. Wouldn't this be a perfect time for jesus to teach compassion for all people and condemn slavery? Yet he makes no such comment, the focus is on faith, and not compassion.

Mq59, you are proving another of my points beautifully, thank you. In my post I talk about how weak xtian apologetics are, and you have illustrated my point every time. Your explanations may make sense on the surface, or to people not familiar with biblical contradictions, but do not stand up to scrutiny if you keep probing. I may quote only the applicable verses, but I read the entire chapter and possibly the whole book in order to understand the context of what is being communicated. Your arguments on the role of women do not stand up to scrutiny when the context of the surrounding text is taken into account, nor did your reasoning on jesus’ teaching to keep the OT laws. Keep ‘em coming, I’m having fun! :)

mq59 said...

I don't really keep a record of the money I give to my church or various charities, so I'm not sure if I tithe or not.

More than likely not, although I don't know my yearly income (I work during the summer and write for my school paper, which doesn't pay too much, during the year).

mq59 said...

On the matter of women's education, men learned "in silence and full submission" too.

I remember reading about pedagogues in the ancient world beating their students, so I imagine there was a lot of submission going on.

mq59 said...

Paul was a Jew, so he was already circumcised.

He also circumsized his student Timothy, for the purposes of good PR with the Jews.

mq59 said...

On the matter of having "night and day" before the sun/moon, perhaps it was before the sun and moon became visible.

IIRC the atmosphere of "primitive Earth" was full of methane and lots of other noxious chemicals, which might have blotted out the sun.

webmdave said...

mq59 said...

Where in the Bible are dragons and unicorns?"


Numbers 23:22
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:8
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

Deuteronomy 33:17
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Job 39:9
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

Job 39:10
Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Job 39:9-11

Psalm 22:21
Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalm 29:6
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Psalm 92:10
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Isaiah 34:7
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.


Deuteronomy 32:33
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Nehemiah 2:13
And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

Job 30:29
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.

Psalm 44:19
Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

Psalm 74:13
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

Psalm 91:13
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Psalm 148:7
Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Isaiah 13:22
And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Isaiah 27:1
In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Isaiah 34:13
And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.

Isaiah 35:7
And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

Isaiah 43:20
The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Isaiah 51:9
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

Jeremiah 9:11
And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.

Jeremiah 10:22
Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

Jeremiah 14:6
And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.

Jeremiah 49:33
And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

Jeremiah 51:34
Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.

Jeremiah 51:37
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.

Ezekiel 29:3
Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.

Micah 1:8
Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.

Malachi 1:3
And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

Revelation 12:3
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Revelation 12:4
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Revelation 12:7
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:13
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Revelation 12:16
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 13:2
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13:4
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:11
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Revelation 16:13
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years...


Now, MQ, if you want to say that the KJV was mistranslated, and that for 400 years what English speaking people considered the Word of God was screwed up, and that's why there are unicorns and dragons roaming the pages, then that's just fine with me.

Apparently your god allows His word to be mistranslated, and in that case, there can be little doubt that he's been allowing all kinds of error to creep into His word, all throughout history.

Thousands of copyists, translaters, publishers...

I wonder which parts He's been gracious enough to preserve, and which parts He's allowed to be altered?

Those were rhetorical questions, there is no need for you to post your personal speculations.

Anonymous said...

MQ: "Many of the verses that contain Paul supposedly endorsing the subordination of women are, in the historical context, NOT endorsing subordination of women."

So, god changed his mind all the time, MQ? Historically, he was fickle, but finally saw the light, after Roman Emperor Constantine I came into power and pushed christianity as a state religion.

There is an easier answer MQ. Your god of the bible, was not always the "same" god, your god changed in line with the perceptions and needs of a tribal people, and from a Jewish Tanakh/Old Testament perspective to an entirely "different" god, both gods, being produced from the Jewish community.

"?l is a northwest Semitic word and name translated into English as either 'god' or 'God' or left untranslated as El, depending on the context.

In the Levant as a whole, El or Il was the supreme god, the father of mankind and all creatures and the husband of the Goddess Asherah as attested in the tablets of Ugarit.

The word El was found at the top of a list of gods as the Ancient of Gods or the Father of all Gods, in the ruins of the Royal Library of the Ebla civilization, in the archaeological site of Tell Mardikh in Syria dated to 2300 BC. He may have been a desert god at some point, as the myths say that he had two wives and built a sanctuary with them and his new children in the desert. El had fathered many gods, but most important were Hadad, Yaw and Mot, each of whom has similar attributes to the Greco-Roman gods Zeus, Ophion and Thanatos respectively. Ancient Greek mythographers identified El with Cronus (not Chronos)."


Yes, MQ, El, fathered Yaw, now, just who was Yaw...

"Even earlier there are signs that Yahweh was worshipped as Yah at Ebla (2,350 BCE) and as Yaw at Ugarit (1800-1200 BCE), where he was one of the Elohim (Canaanite 'lhm) - the sons of El."


If you aren't getting the picture MQ, your god YHWH, Yaw, Yah, Yaweh, etc., is the son of El, that is "Archeologically based fact" per mythological tradition. So, to prevent you from further creating opinionated responses to explain your gods' obvious contradictions in the bible... Why don't you study they history of your religion, and find that El was the "god" of the Tanakh/Old Testament, and YHWH/Yahweh was the "god" of the new testament. Uh, "NOT" the same god.

And, then, we get the "sun" god, or the son of god, in the bible, who is YHWH's son, a literal family tree of gods, that makes Jesus the grand-god-son of El - how quaint. By the way, do "gods" die, or do they just fall out of print? It appears, there are at a minimum three gods now, described in the bible. Not to include Satan of course, who has godlike power.

Now, I am not going to ask why christians are considered monotheists, when its quite obvious their own doctrine has a family tree of gods.

When you suggest the bible doesn't support subordination of women, perhaps it would be more intelligent to say, that the people of the era, who followed El, practiced subordination, but his son Yaweh, and grandson Jesus, didn't always agree with gramps.

Anonymous said...

MQ: "Perhaps it is b/c the Ten Commandments are part of the Law and therefore relevant to the practice of law (the Supreme Court has the Ten on its facade and, unlike the Ten Commandments in Alabama, they've been there for centuries)."

Instead of trying to draw meaning from the historical perspective, and use that information in a positive fashion, it appears you like many other christians want to "apply" the bible in your everyday life. How do you choose which passages are outdated, and which ones aren't, you can't MQ, without disavowing El in the process, but you'd be disavowing the OT at that point, as being valid.

If you suggest El never really existed, then your god Yahweh was never god-born. If you suggest El was a god, then its obvious you are a polytheist, one who believes in the existence of "many" gods.

Oh, and on the U.S. Supreme Court North and South wall "friezes", here is the first inscription...

"Menes (c. 3200 B.C.) First King of the first dynasty of ancient Egypt. He unified Upper and Lower Egypt under his rule and is one of the earliest recorded lawgivers. Menes is shown in the frieze holding the ankh, an Egyptian symbol for life."

These walls, show the historical timeline of legal growth. Yes, the ten commandments is part of the wall, but, they were derived from...

"Hammurabi (c. 1700s B.C.) King of Babylon credited with founding the Babylonian Empire. He is known for the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest known legal codes. The first stone of the Code depicts him receiving the law from the Babylonian Sun God."

The ten commandments are not original, they were created using Hammurabi's code, anyone who does a basic google search can see the ten commandments listed within Hammurabi's codes.

U.S. Supreme Court Friezes

The Code of Hammurabi...

MQ, those questions you have building up, and you just never seem to have answers to... many do, have answers, you just haven't read enough open mindedly to see the real picture... you know, the picture, that shows the christian religion, as just another step in the evolution of religious beliefs, just after Judaism, and right before Islam.

Anonymous said...

MQ: "Paul was a Jew, so he was already circumcised."

"Acts 22:25 and 27 – 29 also state that Paul was a Roman citizen – a privilege he used a number of times to defend his dignity, including appealing his conviction in Iudaea Province to Rome."


Again, if you want to quote something in the bible, be prepared to explain the contradictions of the passages you post. How is Paul a Jew, and a Roman citizen, when, being a Roman citizen at that time, would have called for him participating in the Imperial Cult, a Cult, that had entirely different beliefs, than the Jews. Just explain, the reason any god would place a contradictory statement in the bible, or what the purpose could be, to continue to place contradiction and mythology throughout the bible, thanks.

south2003 said...

Mq59 is not really sure about what a lot of things concerning his religion. He uses a lot of perhaps, maybes, supposedly, could have beens, might not be, more than likely not, all though it could...

Should we take what he saying literally, figuratively, or it is all a metaphor?

Anonymous said...

MQ: "On the matter of having "night and day" before the sun/moon, perhaps it was before the sun and moon became visible."

Uh, did you ever take astronomy... Why would a god state that there was night and day, if that's not the case.

If you suggest there may have been methane, then, night and day wouldn't have been perceived from the surface of the planet, and... in space there is no such thing as night and day.

Perhaps, the answer is easy, perhaps, someone wrote the passage at a later date, who speculated on how the surface of the earth would appear if a "god" created the earth. Of course, a primitive explanation wouldn't have the advantage of knowing methane, etc., was all over this planet in its earliest forming stages.

A god would know of such information, a primitive author, wouldn't. MQ, the authors of the bible, albeit they are almost unanimously anonymous, are doing the same thing you are doing... speculating, and writing down what you believe could have possibly happened... an endless game of speculation, well, if one didn't have science, history, etc., to check the speculation against.

If you learn, comparitive religion, philosophy, world history, archeology, physics, mathematics, etc., before you pick up a bible, it would take on a whole new meaning for you.

South made a good point, you spend a lot of time speculating... Your "god key" doesn't seem to be useful in unlocking all of those hidden mysteries you are speculating on... Perhaps, you should look for a new key, if you are trying to find predictable meaning in life... Well, unless, you find meaning in life, by perpetually "speculating".

Anonymous said...

D8 and South, you made some good points. From a fundamentalist X-ian POV, they literally HAVE TO make things make "sense" in their own minds in order to "validate" their belief. If one of the cards "falls", the entire house falls with it, including the "promise"---that is the crux, and that is is exactly what we see going on right here and now with MQ and his conviction.

If I say: "Hey MQ, what's up with this thing called the 'firmament' in Genesis?...why would an omniscient being, essentially the chief 'engineer' of the entire universe, not know that there is no 'dome' separating the water below from the water 'above'?"

Of course, we'll likely get some kind of rationalization from MQ. Yet, we know, as critical thinkers, that the more likely explanation is that from primative man's perspective the sky was the same color as the ocean, so when it rained water from the sky, they "speculated" that the sky was made of water too, and hence, a dome...i.e. the "firmament", is what "held up" the water.

Anyway, it's totally absurd to think that this revealed "knowledge" of "firmaments" and "dividing day from night" came from a "god"...::eyeroll::

south2003 said...

Dave8 & Boom

Yea, he speculates and at times sounds very read, always have the "answers" but did not know this one:


Where in the Bible are dragons and unicorns?


1) Either he didn't know
2) Too lazy to look it up
3) Asked for proof to prove the WM wrong.

So the question is, will Mq59 find a rebuttal for the unicorns and dragons? Interesting!

Anonymous said...

MQ: "The OT and Law are not completely useless--much of the NT is foreshadowed in the OT and the history of the Jewish people is often relevant for Christians today."

The history of the Jewish people is often (not always) relevant for christians today? In what manner, as we both know, El/Il, was the god of the OT, and YHWH was the god of the NT. The only possible use of the OT, wasn't for the purpose of a god to teach humanity about guidance and law, it was to effectively denounce El, the bull-calf god of the OT, and to show people that a new god was to be followed, e.g., Yaw, YHWH.

There is/never was evidence to prove the god "El", but "El" was disavowed by Paul, and eventually by the Roman Gov't. How does a gov't dispell a "god", or how does "one person" abolish a god/El... simple, get a bunch of ignorant and vastly illiterate people together, and preach an entirely different oral tradition, than the Jews, using "their own" Tanakh/Old Testament... Obviously, if El was the god of the OT, and Paul was preaching the OT, me thinks, Paul was lying about El's laws, or manipulating them to conform to what he wanted/desired.

What we have today, are replicas, in theory of the original smatterings of letters Paul had sent around to plead his case, and they do not make up the majority of the bible. The First Council of Nicaea ~325 took care of the rest, as it selectively chose what books to use to create the NT, the vote on the divinity of a Jesus, as no one could vouche for the claims at that time, was not unanimous in favor of citing Jesus as a divine god.

El, had been effectively erased by Paul, and the Roman Gov't. However, you suggest that the NT, closes the OT. Have you read any of the messianic prophecies?

"The Jewish tradition of "The Messiah" has its foundation in numerous biblical references, and understands "The Messiah" to be a human being - without any overtone of deity or divinity - who will bring about certain changes in the world and fulfill certain criteria before he can be acknowledged as "The Messiah"."

"First of all, he must be Jewish - "...you may appoint a king over you, whom the L-rd your G-d shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set as king over you." (Deuteronomy 17:15)"

MQ, if El chose Jesus to be the Jews' mortal messiah, as they believed the messiah to be mortal, why don't you think the Jews accepted Jesus as their "king", I mean, obviously they followed their laws with deep scrutiny. Perhaps, the following is why they didn't proclaim, a Jesus as king, obviously they never found the "Jesus" of the NT, lets see...

To Be The True Jewish Messiah Of The OT...

"He must be a member of the tribe of Judah - "The staff shall not depart from Judah, nor the sceptre from between his feet..." (Genesis 49:10)

To be a member of the tribe of Judah, the person must have a biological father who is a member of the tribe of Judah.


"He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon, his son - "And when your days (David) are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will make firm the throne of his kingdom forever..." (2 Samuel 7:12 - 13)

The genealogy of the New Testament is inconsistent. While it gives two accounts of the genealogy of Joseph, it states clearly that he is not the biological father of Jesus. One of the genealogies is through Nathan and not Solomon altogether!"


"He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -"And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)

Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus?"


"He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem - "...and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them.." (Ezekiel 37:26 - 27)

At last check, there is NO Temple in Jerusalem. And worse, it was shortly after Jesus died that the Temple was DESTROYED! Just the opposite of this prophecy!"


"He will rule at a time of world-wide peace - "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Micah 4:3)

Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus?"


"He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d's commandments - "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes." (Ezekiel 37:24)

The Torah is the Jewish guide to life, and its commandments are the ones referred to here. Do all Jews observe all the commandments? Christianity, in fact, often discourages observance of the commandments in Torah, in complete opposition to this prophecy."


"He will rule at a time when all people will come to acknowledge and serve one G-d - "And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the L-rd" (Isaiah 66:23)

There are still millions if not billions of people in the world today who adhere to paganistic and polytheistic religions. It is clear that we have not yet seen this period of human history unfold."


"All of these criteria are best stated in the book of Ezekiel Chapter 37 verses 24-28:

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore."

MQ, basically, what the above means, is that the god "El", promised the Jews they would be his chosen people, if they abided by his laws, period.


"If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah." A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that to date, no one has fulfilled every condition.

Certainly NOT Jesus."


Now, MQ, millions of Jews have died because of their religion over the years, because they refuse to go against the promise they were given by their god "El", the "eldest" of the biblical gods.

Why don't you give us the "authority" Paul used to deny El's existence, and relevance to the Jews. What motivation would anyone have to totally anihilate another communities' religion?

Its obvious, by anyone literate and somewhat aware of their global surroundings, that the prophecies of the OT were not fulfilled. Please, explain then, why the NT was created, if in fact, the OT was never closed.

Anonymous said...

Hey South, the WM did provide the necessary answer for MQ, I wonder if he will be looking up those passages, and trying to figure out how all of those magical creatures got into the perfect bible...

Oh, well, if MQ, is actually going to look up Unicorns and Dragons, he can look up Satyrs also...

MQ, a Satyr is a mythical creature that was half-man and half-goat.

Isaiah 13:21 - "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."

Isaiah 34:14 - "The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.


Also, don't forget the magical cockatrice... You know, a cockatrice is a serpent, hatched from a cock's egg, that can kill with a glance.

Isaiah 11:8 - "And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weened child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den."

Isaiah - 14:29 - "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

Isaiah 59:5 - "They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.

Jeremiah 8:17 - "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD."

And, the magical giants, that live in the earth...

Genesis 6:4 - There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

And, in the midst of all this mythology, your god, YHWH repents, I suppose he isn't omniscient, and therefore, not all that powerful...

Genesis 6:6 - "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Anonymous said...

Hey Boom, yep, one card falls, and the entire belief system is in jeapordy :-) Well, as long as the believer has their "lucky charms", and mythological creatures, they should be fine ;-) Take care...

Anonymous said...

MQ, more mythology, if you want to read some, I'm sure it will help in your next religious class...

Genesis 19:24-26 - "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his [Lot's] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

"Orpheus, a Thracian poet who could move even inanimate things by his music. When his wife Eurydie died he went into the infernal regions, and so charmed King Pluto that Eurydice was released from death on the condition that Orpheus would not look back till he reached the earth. He was just about to place his foot on the earth when he turned round, and Eurydice vanished from him in an instant. Pope introduces this tale in his St. Cecilia's Ode.

The tale of Orpheus is thus explained: Aeoneus, King of Thesprotia, was for his cruelty called Pluto, and having seized Eurydieas she fled from Aristaeos, detained her captive. Orpheus obtained her release on certain conditions, which he violated, and lost her a second time.

There is rather a striking resemblance between the fate of Eurydice and that of Lot's wife. The former was emerging from hell, the latter from Sodom. Orpheus looked back and Eurydice was snatched away, Lot's wife looked back and was converted into a pillar of salt."


mq59 said...


Webmaster obvious did his homework.

However, many of those verses are not implying there are such creatures as unicorns or dragons walking the Earth.

The passage about Nebuchadnezzar, for example, is a simile describing the terror of Nebuchadnezzar and the predicament that the writer is in.

And the dragons and monsters of the prophetic literature like Revelation are not literal beings. The dragon of Revelation, for example, is Satan. Dragons in the West are generally evil creatures, so it is fitting that a dragon be used to represent the Ultimate Evil--people would understand it better.

On the ones that do, I'll have to check some other translations, as all of those come from the KJV. The intro to the NIV describes how the KJV had some problems and eventually was concluded that a new translation was in order.

mq59 said...

At Nicaea, it was not a matter of whether Jesus was "merely" a man or was God, but whether Jesus was a lesser supernatural being or God.

The Arians believed Jesus to be a supernatural entity, but not equal to God the Father.

What you're talking about sounds a lot like "The Da Vinci Code," which is historically wrong on many levels.

webmdave said...

So Yah allowed errors in the KJV translation, but HE is not allowing errors into the NIV?

MQ, please, think about it.

mq59 said...

Isaiah 11:8 in the NIV says "cobra," not "cockatrice."

Jeremiah 51:7 (NIV) says "a haunt of jackals."

Isaiah 13:22 is translated "hyenas" in the NIV and "God's Word Translation."


mq59 said...


The NIV has problems as well. No translation is perfect. After all, they're done by people who might've not gotten enough sleep the night before or mistook one letter for another.

However, some translations are better than others.

The KJV may be better than some earlier translations, but worse than some more modern ones.

mq59 said...

Using the Crosswalk system, I went through some other translations of the Isaiah verse.

Most of them say "jackals" or "wild dogs," not "dragons."

mq59 said...

Isaiah 34:14 in some versions says "satyrs," but in other versions says "night creatures" or "night owls" and the Jewish Bible even says "Lilith."

The versions of 13:21 I've seen say "wild goats."

mq59 said...


On the matter of Paul being a Roman citizen, perhaps some politics were involved.

His family may have gotten Roman citizenship for some services rendered to the government and been exempted, as Jews, from the Imperial Cult.

Perhaps some deal was made.

Yes, I am aware I'm speculating.

Judaism was one of the religions the Romans recognized and respected, I believe.

mq59 said...

According to the Wikipedia article, it is the assertion of the Ebionites and some Restoriationists that Roman citizenship would require participation in Caesar-worship.

This will require some deeper research in Roman citizenship and the rights/responsibilities involved.

mq59 said...


Perhaps Paul's father was an auxilia or had done some favor for the Romans. Paul would have gotten it since the (legitimate) children of citizens were citizens too.

Anonymous said...

The Energizer "Ministering" Bunny.

...::Stilllll going::.....

MQ:"perhaps"; "maybe"; "could be"; "it might've"; "this translation"; that translation.....ah la la la laaa!

If there's one think we should ALL be able to agree on, it's that "God's word" is N-O-T concise. Yeah, "The Almighty" presumably created everybody's butt-hole to operate efficiently--- to know the difference between when it needs to pass gas, or poop.... yet, "Mr. Omnipotent" couldn't create a way to get his message across in just as an efficient way? Out-smarted by a sphincter? Give me a break!

Buh-bye MQ!

Anonymous said...

MQ: "At Nicaea, it was not a matter of whether Jesus was "merely" a man or was God, but whether Jesus was a lesser supernatural being or God."

Actually, MQ, it was much more than that, lets review...

"The Council of Nicaea was historically significant because it was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom."

Okay, there were many divergent beliefs regarding Jesus at this time in Rome, obviously, "no one" really got to know the fella' really well, or get his autograph, etc.

So, the First Council of Nicaea, was set up, to "resolve disagreements in the Church of Alexandria over the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father: in particular whether Jesus was of the same or of similar substance as God the Father."

It was the Jewish belief, that continued to be the thorn in the side of Constantine I, so, "their" option of Jesus being a mere mortal, wasn't placed on the table for a vote...

"...in particular whether Jesus was of the same or of similar substance as God the Father. St. Alexander of Alexandria took the first position; the popular presbyter Arius, from whom the term Arian controversy comes, took the second. The council decided against the Arians."

So, it wasn't just to decide whether Jesus was a lesser supernatural creature made by god, or if Jesus was god, alone. It was to slam the door in the Jews' face, hopefully that is clear, perhaps, Wikipedia is more politically correct than it needs to be on this subject, or perhaps, Wikipedia assumes that most people reading the article, have the necessary background information to know the politics involved in the vote.


To further illustrate the slamming of the door in the face of the Jews, what else could be done to alienate/isolate the Jews...

"The Council of Nicaea was historically significant because it was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom"

Either you are with us, or you aren't, period, Jews are blackballed.

"It was the first occasion for the development of technical Christology".

The technical terms of how Jesus was to be considered, were ironed out. Albeit, the beliefs of Jesus in that era, should have been based on the "strongest" evidence of who Jesus was, but, there was nothing to use for evidence, by the historians of that day. Again, Constantine I, took charge, made a vote, and isolated the Jews, not by evidence, but, by under-represented religious leaders' votes, and placed the terms in writing.

"Further, "Constantine in convoking and presiding over the council signaled a measure of imperial control over the church."

Now, Constantine I, being leader of the Empire and Religion, can attack at will anyone who doesn't follow his religious beliefs.

"With the creation of the Nicene Creed, a precedent was established for subsequent general councils to create a statement of belief and canons which were intended to become orthodox for all Christians."

The creed was to be used, to identify those who were abiding by the "state" theocratic religion. Again, the Jews could then be located and destroyed, hence, why in the Talmud, Jews are allowed to use subterfuge when confronted by non-Jews on religious matters.

"Separation of Easter from the Jewish Passover. ...Alexandria and Rome, however, followed a different calculation, attributed to Pope Soter, so that Christian Passover would never coincide with the Jewish observance and decided in favour of celebrating on the first Sunday after the spring equinox, independently of the Bible's Hebrew calendar."

The Pope went against the Hebrew Calendar, to ensure, the Jews could easily be identified and isolated based on the day of their festivites. In short, the Pope made sure the Jews could be spotted a mile away if they practiced their religious celebration on their identified day. Another way, of sticking it to the Jews, so they could be hunted down, when necessary.

So, MQ, the First Council of Nicaea, wasn't just a council to determine which level of godship Jesus held, and how he was made in the easy bake god oven, it was a politically created council, to establish a standard set of rules, by which Constantine I, could unite his empire under "one" belief system. Why is that important you may be thinking? Because, if you study a little in geo-politics or international government, you will find that creating nations, requires "law", and laws, are hard to establish if everyone is on a different page.

Economics, corporeal punishment, etc, have to be based on some standard, and thus, Constantine I, created that standard, and applied state law to the Roman citizens in a standardized manner. In so doing, however, he eradicated many religious sects, who were probably more true to the concept of what "christians" today, belive Jesus (if he did live) would have been like. Thus ends the lesson... The christianity you believe today, is rooted in that controversial setting. The NT "Sometimes referred to as The Word of God, it's the Christian writings recommended by St. Athanasius in 367 AD."

The NT was canonized approximately 42 years after the First Council met, and the votes on the council, were used to decide, which books would make it into the NT. The NT was put together, by men, mere men, who voted and attended council meetings, much like a churches' board members vote on such topics, as to what can be preached, and what can't.

By the way, Wikipedia now has this banner on this web page...

"As a result of recent vandalism, or to stop banned editors from editing, editing of this page by new or unregistered users is currently disabled. Changes can be discussed on the talk page, or you can request unprotection."

It appears, some people can't handle the truth, and thus, resort to violence, and vandalism. I wonder who would want to vandalize a web page, that exposes the true construction method of the NT?

webmdave said...

You just don't get it do you MQ? There have been and still are bad mistranslations of the Word of God. The truth is, no one knows how to translate some of the words, so translators just put in their best guess that MIGHT be the meaning.

We know that things have been mistranlasted. We also KNOW that men make mistakes all the time.= in everything they do. We also KNOW that men hand-copied the Bible hundreds and thousands of times before the printing press was invented. And the people hand-copying this thing were not educated to a very high standard at all.

Have you ever tried to hand-copy an entire book?

Now, once you've hand-copied your book, containing any mistakes you've made, give it to someone else so they can hand-copy from your mistake-filled copy. Do you think the next guy might make a mistake or two? Do you think the next guy might not be able to read your writing at a spot or two? Have the next guy give his finished copy to another person, and that person do the same. Do this over and over again, through 100 different copyists. Now mix in the reality that some of the copyists might be lazy, tired, or drunk. Add to that that some might have agendas of their own, and think it would be better if it were worded just a little differently. Sort of like editor-copyists.

MQ, Do you even have the ablility to comprehend what I'm driving at?

Finally we KNOW that the original manuscripts of the Bible were written by MEN! No magical saytr, unicorn, dragon, or god came down to Earth to write the words down. Men wrote the words.

What do we have so far?

Men make mistakes.
There are mistakes in translation.
There are copy errors.
There are known changes that have been inserted along the way.
There are undoubtedly mistakes in the original autographs, since men wrote them.

If your god hasn't preserved his perfect word, then his word isn't perfect. If the translation and transmission has errors, for any reason, then it isn't the Word of God, it's just a book that MIGHT contain some of the words of men who may or may not have been inspired by a god, if you can believe people who say that they are inspired by a god.

Admitting there are problems with this book that is supposed to be perfect, how do we determine which parts are really from a god and which parts are really from mistakes?

The answer is: WE CAN'T.

MQ, the heading of this testimony is called "Learning to think for myself." Maybe you should think about that.

Marty Mets said...

Wow, Dave8, I could really learn something from you, you know your stuff!! Let me ask you this, since I looked it up in “Who Wrote the NT” by Burton Mack, but he was not specific on Paul’s ethnicity.

On page 99, Mack writes: “This person, an intellectual Jew named Paul…”, yet he gives no source for how we know he was a Jew. Is this generally agreed upon in scholarly circles? Mack mentions NT verses where Paul claims to have been circumcised in accordance with Jewish law, but what are the possibilities of this being a later xtian interpolation along the lines of changing responsibility for jesus’ crucifixion from the Romans onto the Jews? I ask this because I find Paul’s actions and views much more in line with the Pagan world than with the Jewish world, and it easy to imagine early xtians wanting their first convert to come from Judaism instead of the Pagan world. Jesus himself said he came to save the Jews, so a Roman “first convert” could be embarrassing, no? There are several things that lead me to believe paul was not a Jew, but I’d like to know if I’m missing some info or if my logic is faulty anywhere..

But first, as you mentioned, he was a Roman citizen from Tarsus. His books contain a lot of ideas found in pagan mystery religions, and he was not regarded with high esteem by peter because he was going against Jewish tradition. This implies he was more familiar with pagan traditions than with Jewish ones, and going by the severe repercussions meted out to Jews for “following other gods”, I find it improbable that paul was a Jew that was well educated in paganism. Familiar, maybe, but not well versed. Jews refused to acknowledge any other god or religion other than Yahweh, even to the point of being a scholar of other religions, right?

Also, jesus commanded the twelve to not preach to the gentiles, yet paul preached almost exclusively to them. Xtians love to tell how paul used to persecute the xtians before he himself was converted, yet I was not aware that Jews persecuted early xtians. I always thought they regarded them as a heretical offshoot cult, but refrained from any bloodshed. I realize the claims of persecution of xtians are grossly exaggerated, but it was the Romans that conducted it, not Jews, correct?

And lastly, like I mentioned earlier, paul writes how circumcision and the dietary laws are no longer necessary. If I remember correctly, this was one reason why peter was not happy with paul's "witnessing", and that peter was not advocating straying from the OT laws. Am I correct? If so, this would seem to imply that paul was unfamiliar with Jewish life, and unwilling to change, and Peter was born into that life, and knew nothing else, so did not see any reason for changing the Jewish Law.


I looked up a few of the unicorn verses in my Revised Standard Version, and it translates unicorn to “the horns of a wild ox”.

So apparently xtians can’t even decide what animals are being discussed in the holy scriptures!! I don’t understand why more people don’t recognize this and understand the implications to their religion. An Almighty godhead wants everyone to worship him, but his only method of communication for all eternity is a collection of inconsistent books written in the deserts of north Africa by a pre-scientific nomadic tribal culture that has been handed down to us with innumerable translation errors and interpolations.


I’m still waiting to hear how you explain away jesus’ acceptance of slavery. Really. Also, I’ve asked several of my friends, and no one can think of a question that would be improper for a woman to ask in church, but would be perfectly fine for a man to ask in church. That is, no one can think of a question that would be improper in a society that treats men and women as equals, like you claim the early church did.

south2003 said...

As I was saying: So the question is, will Mq59 find a rebuttal for the unicorns and dragons? Interesting!

Oh YES he did!! So what is the point? We should take these magical creatures as a sign of... what was it again?

What a bunch of... may I say, BULLSHIT!

Marty Mets said...

MQ59: On the matter of women's education, men learned "in silence and full submission" too.

If this is true, than why are only women commanded to learn this way? If women were not second class citizens in early xtian society, shouldn’t the verse read: “I command all men and women to learn in silence and submissiveness”? Yet it doesn’t say this, it tells us only women are to learn in this manner. You are adding your assumptions to the text, and I see no reason to assume that men were treated the same as women when looking at these verses.

Let me ask you another question. In my above post I asked quite a few questions to Dave8 because he seems to have a much better grasp of the history behind this discussion than I do, and I have many points I would like clarified. Now, if I was a woman, how would I get a better understanding of this topic, since I must learn in silence? I would not be allowed to ask a question, because that would not be silence. Or does the word silence mean something different to the xtian?

Also, what if the questions I’m asking are of exactly how bloodshed washes sin away, or some other crazy doctrinal issue. The teacher gives some long winded apologetic approach that doesn’t make any sense to me, so I continue to ask questions to further clarify the point, but my teacher still does not make any logical sense to my mind. Finally, becoming agitated, he tells me that I must learn in submissiveness, which basically means that I must accept what he tells me because he is the teacher and I am the student.

Therefore, the woman must learn from a man, accept everything he “teaches” her (including that she is an inferior vessel compared to a man) in submissiveness, and any uncertainty or questions cannot be brought up because she is required to be silent. All this is drawn from the words in the text and those words alone. I am not adding any “perhaps” or “maybes” to the text, I read what is on the page and understand its meaning from the words that are written. If paul wanted men to learn in silence and submissiveness, he would have written that down too. No?

Please answer me this, why would your god allow men to write down his word in allegorical poetry that has meaning other than what it says? Shouldn’t an omnipotent deity realize that this method would be the worst way to get his point across? Why wouldn’t god say what he means, and nothing more? Modern legal language is not exactly easy to understand, but we don’t write law down in poetry, we use specific language meant to convey an idea in the most specific way possible. Why doesn’t your god do the same with his law books?

south2003 said...

Silence means to shut the hell up and know your place! - For a woman, bare footed and pregnant in the kitchen. That's basically what it is sweetie.

Marty, if you gave me your time, I wouldn't waste it on Mq59. You see, he will crawl on their stomach like a snake to reconcile the myth to fit in reality. Perfect example: take a look at the unicorns and dragons rebuttal.

Now, if you think he will give you ethical responses concerning what that repressed - wouldn't doubt it - woman hater wrote, yes that so called Paul, don't hold your breath.

His answer will say something like this: "Well, it says so and so but it means so and so...*phew*

south2003 said...

By the way Marty, it's good to see you here.

Welcome aboard!!

We have asked the same questions you're asking and they still don't have the answer. Maybe Mr. Omnipresence is nowhere around to give it to 'em. Without fail, each will come here and give us their "take" on it...lol.....Stay tuned!

south2003 said...

They are not honest enough with themselves to say hey, something is terrible wrong with subjecting a woman to this kind of lifestyle. That will make them question the entire divine impartation call the holy bible. Yea, it's filled with holes alright, but somehow, they can't see through it.

Marty Mets said...


I completely agree, I’m just having fun. I haven’t had a chance to really challenge xtian beliefs before; most preachy people turn away as soon as they realize that I know more about the bible than they do. MQ59 keeps coming back, so I just can’t resist at this point in time! Countless times I have been invited to a bible study and I have readily accepted. Yet, as the initial conversation continues, the xtian becomes more and more quiet, and uses “perhaps”, “Maybe”, “I don’t know”, more often. At the onset, they are so sure of themselves, but as I continue to ask these unanswerable questions, they retreat. I always try to find out where their church is and the date and time of the official bible study, but my invite is always revoked. I would corrupt the rest of the class. I think it’s funny.

BTW, they aren’t really unanswerable questions, if you are open to the idea that it is all a lie. If you are unwilling to go there, the questions are unanswerable. I’m only trying to get MQ59 to see that his arguments are weak, but I also see that he just doesn’t get it, and is unable to see past his brainwashing. I want to see if he will come up with anything new or an original thought, but I doubt it. He probably has a book that claims to clear up all inconsistencies, because all his answers are stock xtian dribble. You can parrot the apologetics all day, but when it comes time to clarify the apologetics, he can’t, so he will move on to another topic.

Case in point, I’m sure there is no apologetic argument for jesus’ acceptance of slavery, and this is why he has not bothered to address it, even though I’ve asked for his thoughts on it twice. He has no opinion on it unless some xtian leader tells him what to think about it.

MQ59, my appolgies in refering to you as "he", as I do not know for sure, you do not allow viewing of your profile. I'm only using the default English pronoun.

south2003 said...

Mq59 said: “The NIV has problems as well. No translation is perfect. After all, they're done by people who might've not gotten enough sleep the night before or mistook one letter for another.”

See, what I told you guys....crawling like a snake just to make this blood thirsty book fit for humanity...lmao "people who might've not gotten enough sleep the night before or mistook one letter for another"

Mq59 stop speculating. I hope there will be a moment when you realized, admit and be honest with yourself that this book is flawed and is used to control mindless gullible individuals like yourself.

south2003 said...


At least you were invited to a bible study. ALL of my fundie friends would not dear go out to lunch with me. All they know is that I no longer attend their church. One would have thought I all of a sudden grew two horns and a tail.

That works for me...hehehe

David said...

To south2003,

Do you have a testimony on this site? And if so can you provide teh link? Thanks

Dave Poole

Marty Mets said...


I work in audio/recording studios, and one that I freelance out of occasionally is owned by a fundie family. They invited me to a bible study as soon as I pulled up in my car and they saw my Darwin fish on the trunk for the first time.

The owner put his arm around me all father like and said "I noticed you have a Darwin fish on your car, you realize that that is all a big lie, don’t you?"

Now, I knew who they were and what they believed, so, like I did with mq59, I played. "Really, and how do you know this"?

"I used to be like you; I used to accept science and was an Atheist. But then one day I sat down and read Genesis, and I realized it made more scientific sense than evolution did”.

“Really? Then you either have a poor idea of evolution, or we’ve read different versions of Genesis”.

“So you’ve read it before? You know what I’m talking about then.”

“Well, I was raised Lutheran, but how does plants being created before the sun make ANY scientific sense?”

“He created light on the first day.”

“But the sun is our source of light. Did god create halogen work lamps on the first day, because even god can’t see what he’s doing in the dark?”

It went on like this for about an hour. We went from creation “science” to the genealogy of jesus. This was when they began to turn away.

Me: “Why, if I’m supposed to believe jesus was immaculately conceived, would Matthew and Luke both put genealogies of Joseph in their books, and if the bible is divinely inspired, why would they both be completely different from each other”?

“Ahh, you see, it’s the genealogy of Mary, and not Joseph”. He said this with such a smug smirk on his face; I took glee in watching his look change into the classic ‘deer in the headlights’ look.

“Someone needs to go re-read their bible. They are genealogies of JOSEPH, both books name Joseph, and NOT Mary”.

Now, they ARE nice people. They treat me very well, solstice bonus, etc. But they always have a book for me to read, the latest was “Maybe Today”, by that LaHaye dickhead. I read every one, and they let me keep them. But I have brought in a few books for them, yet they sit there untouched for months. Every time I see the owner, I ask when the bible study is, I’ll buy the pizza. He says whenever I want. My reply is always “You have my #’s, call me with the date and time and I’ll be there.” I never get a call. I guess they figure having me read their p.o.v. is less embarrassing than me pointing out how little they know their own bible.

But on a more disturbing note, I do get the ‘evil eye’ from them quite a lot. If another engineer can’t find a microphone or some other piece of gear, I get a call asking where it is, even though I’m there maybe 4 times a year. I take it as suspicion that I may have taken it. I have my own studio, and they have been invited to come see it plenty of times, but they never do. I have stopped working with them recently because the only work I get thru them anymore are fundie xtian bands or recording xtian conversion dinners (don’t ask). I did it a few times because I needed the money, but I felt like a whore doing it, and when they started giving me nothing but fundie shit, I started getting real busy in my studio. I don’t want my name on their projects, but worse than that, I don’t want to help spread their message of hate and intolerance. Not to mention listening to grown men and women sing about mansions in the clouds makes me want to vomit.

I continually get the feeling they are nice to me in order to illustrate that not all xtians are close minded bigots. But on occasion they have condoned the genocide of the Americas because they “practiced human sacrifice”, and told me that yoga is fine as long as its stretching, but I should leave if they start praying to 9 arm goddess’. They don’t realize that xtians sacrificed those very same humans to Yahweh, only much worse. No matter how hard they try, they can’t be viewed as open minded if my books sit on the shelf for 6 months without being read.

But I would show up to a bible study with the pope if I knew where it was. Maybe the next fundie I meet I’ll play dumb so I can be let in the doors. I’d just like to see how long it would take before they kick me out.

MQ59, where are you? You were posting with such regularity before. Are you waiting for a call back from your pastor with how you should respond to jesus’ acceptance of slavery? I want to know what “might” have been meant, or what “could” have happened. Don’t leave now; I was just starting to have fun!! :)

mq59 said...

I somehow have not been able to access this site from my dorm computer.

That's where I've been.

Has the site been down for the last few days or have I been banned?

mq59 said...

I guess my user-name hasn't been banned, since I'm able to post from this student center computer.

Anonymous said...

mq59, You've been banned, stay a way, you're not invited, you're unwelcome, can you take a hint?

If you come back, it proves you're totally insane and a brainwashed cretin!

Anonymous said...

Marty Mets: "Mack mentions NT verses where Paul claims to have been circumcised in accordance with Jewish law, but what are the possibilities of this being a later xtian interpolation along the lines of changing responsibility for jesus’ crucifixion from the Romans onto the Jews?"

Pauline Christian theologians, in my opinion, would support the notion tha Paul was converting the Orthodox Jews, as well as trying to establish a gathering of gentile (non-Jew) followers. Paul himself was jailed for bashing Christians, however, lets look at the timeline. Christians didn't exist Pre-Jesus birth. The date of Jesus' birth, and Paul's own birth are strikingly parallel. Thus, this means, Paul rejected Jesus' teachings most of Jesus' life (not that I believe Jesus ever lived), and then while in a Roman prison, woke up to the "truth" of Christianity. However, at the time Jesus lived, there still wasn't Christianity, as Christ never proclaimed a Christian dogma per the bible or any other historical reference. So, what was Pauls' ethnicity? I don't really know, but Paul changed his statements around on multiple occassion to meet his purpose, so one can't really say one way or another, unless "birth" or "genetics" are used to classify his standing. Unfortunately, neither Paul/Jesus have a grave.

Someone today, born of a Jewish household, can claim Christianity as their belief. Thus, their Jewish family would consider them a temporarily "lost" Jew, and Christians, would drop the entire Jewish background altogether. Paul, in many regards was attempting to appeal to many diverse groups, to gain a following. In order for him to gain trust in any one group, he had to modify his identity, in order to get different diverse groups to "identify" with him, as, if these different diverse groups didn't identify with him, and build rapport, he would not have been able to establish a significant following.

The Roman Emperor Constantine I, took over where Paul left off, establishing a Roman Religion based on Christianity. However, instead of the Roman leadership, trying to change its persona to "persuade" followers to come to them, they killed anyone who opposed the state religion. A different tactic, and thus, Constantine I, never had to change his identity, as it appears Paul did.

The shifting of a personality, doesn't make Paul more or less a Jew, or more or less a Roman citizen. It all comes down to his birth identity, as anyone can continue to change their identity over time, to support their purpose. This view is consistent with how Paul is portrayed in the bible. Now, did someone at a later date, modify the Pauline Epistles, etc? Who knows, all we have is what we can inspect at this time, and not even the originals. So, its very possible. I'd like to think that if a Christian wants to read the bible literally, then, they need to see that Paul posed many different identities, some Christians use Pauls' obscure life, per the bible, to show the journey of a person in the search for truth. However, the non-literalists who read the bible, seem to have their "own" special way of reading the word, and inconsistent with everyone else typically.

Anonymous said...

i think u need 2 get a life Jesus died 4 u God sent his son 4 u u oh them so much so just get a fricken life.

monzaman said...

Dear Marty,

As hard as you try to rationalize your hatred for the church, the evidence is clear. It isn't the church that you hate but God. I think that when you finally realize that, you will be content in your isolation to atheism. However, from my experience, most atheists aren't confident enough in their undestanding (or misunderstanding) of the divine to be so bold. Take the step, Marty. But remember, once you have done so, that is the unalterable and unforgivable sin that Jesus speaks of. There is much risk in that. And, that risk is eternal. Taking your "knowledge" to the grave may be self-satisfying now. But, what good will that do you after that?

It's easy to sit on the fence and do what you do--slinging the mud but not willing to really plop yourself down into it. Remember that most of the greatest atheists in history died with the name of Christ on their lips. I wonder what you last words will be? It's worthwhile to wonder, isn't it?


monzaman said...

Dear Marty,

As hard as you try to rationalize your hatred for the church, the evidence is clear. It isn't the church that you hate but God. I think that when you finally realize that, you will be content in your isolation to atheism. However, from my experience, most atheists aren't confident enough in their undestanding (or misunderstanding) of the divine to be so bold. Take the step, Marty. But remember, once you have done so, that is the unalterable and unforgivable sin that Jesus speaks of. There is much risk in that. And, that risk is eternal. Taking your "knowledge" to the grave may be self-satisfying now. But, what good will that do you after that?

It's easy to sit on the fence and do what you do--slinging the mud but not willing to really plop yourself down into it. Remember that most of the greatest atheists in history died with the name of Christ on their lips. I wonder what you last words will be? It's worthwhile to wonder, isn't it?


Astreja said...

Monzaman: "It isn't the church that you hate but God."

Who the Niflheim do you think you are, Monzaman, telling other people what they think and feel?

"However, from my experience, most atheists aren't confident enough in their undestanding (or misunderstanding) of the divine to be so bold."

Wow, what was your sample size of atheists? Two? Three? Do you even know any in real life? And how in blazes did you, a mere mortal, manage to drill into their heads to measure their confidence level?

"...the unalterable and unforgivable sin that Jesus speaks of. There is much risk in that. And, that risk is eternal."

You're making a lot of dubious, unproven assumptions here, Monzaman.

- Did Jesus actually exist? (Possibly, but I doubt that he was anything like the character described in the Bible.)

- Does sin actually exist? (I don't think so. How could a human injure an omnipotent god? It would be like a ladybug hopping up and down on the windowsill, swearing at me... At worst it would be amusing and a bit perplexing.)

- Does an unforgivable sin exist? (No, because sin is imaginary.)

- Does anything of us survive death? (Highly doubtful. Most near-death experiences reflect the religious background of the person affected, with no cross-cultural consistency.)

- Would a loving god actually create such a place as Hell? (I say no, absolutely not. Stop insulting your god by implying such a horrible thing. And I don't give a fuck what your holy book says. It's wrong, wrong, wrong.)

"Remember that most of the greatest atheists in history died with the name of Christ on their lips."

Except when they were deliberately misquoted by Christians with agendas. For instance, Charles Darwin (agnostic, not atheist per se was slanderously misquoted by Lady Hope. His actual last words were "I am not in the least afraid to die." Kindly cease bearing false witness.

boomSLANG said...

Monza-fundy: As hard as you try to rationalize your hatred for the church, the evidence is clear. It isn't the church that you hate but God.

Firstly, since when does "evidence" matter to a Christian fundamentalist? It seems to me that that word wouldn't even be in their vocabulary. But if for some reason it matters today....well, then the "evidence is clear": Concerning your biblegod, you HAVE none. BTW, it seems that the author of the article apparently realizes this, too, which is likely why they don't have a belief in "God". Let's review:

Marty Mets: I had completely forgotten about this twin of my mother’s, and almost as soon as the words left the pastors mouth I had changed from an Agnostic to an Atheist. [bold added]

Did you catch that? So, you cannot "hate" something in which you have no belief. Monza---do you "hate" Poseiden? Do you "hate" Quetzalcoatl?..how 'bout the Great Pumpkin? Seriously, do you "hate" any of these things? 'Thought not.

Monza-fundy: I think that when you finally realize that[that you "hate God"], you will be content in your isolation to atheism.

Let's try again: Do you feel "isolated" because of your NON-belief in Poseiden? How 'bout Quetzalcoatl?...the Great Pumpkin? See the absurdity yet??(hopefully)

Monza-fundy asserted: However, from my experience, most atheists aren't confident enough in their [understanding] (or misunderstanding) of the divine to be so bold.

By "divine", I take it you mean a "transcendent reality". If so, tell us how you, as a natural being who lives in a natural reality, can "transcend" this reality. I want to make sure I'm "confident" in my understanding.

Monza-Mark taunted: Take the step, Marty[to Atheism]. But remember, once you have done so, that is the unalterable and unforgivable sin that Jesus speaks of.

Oh jesus christ!... are "sins" forgiven, or arEN'T they? Are you saying that once you "doubt" the existance of biblegod, that you've crossed the point of no return?..i.e.."unalterable"????? If you are, that seems odd, because we always hear how Christians say "I doubted God too, but now I just have Faith". It seems biblegod will use these Christians as examples, no?..and toss them in hell?

Monza-Mark threatens: There is much risk in that. And, that risk is eternal[implying "Hell"]. Taking your "knowledge" to the grave may be self-satisfying now. But, what good will that do you after that?

Yes, yes, Allah has a hot corner in hell waiting for you!

Monza-Mark: It's easy to sit on the fence and do what you do--slinging the mud but not willing to really plop yourself down into it.

I'm pretty sure one who decidedly proclaims the Atheist position has removed themselves from any "fence sitting" position.

Monza-fundy: Remember that most of the greatest atheists in history died with the name of Christ on their lips. I wonder what you last words will be? It's worthwhile to wonder, isn't it?

That's cute....'got any other apocryphal stories up your sleeve? Hey, did you hear the one about the lady who had spiders nesting in her bee-hive hair-doo? lol

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