40 votes

What exactly is the Bible?

I'm writing this because in the last week, not just only DP, but I have had people argue for their beliefs of various topics, ranging from anarchy to minarchy, and more. But people keep telling me they hate Christians because Christians want and expect everyone to be slaves.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about this so I wanted to clear something up.

I will say first I completely accept your beliefs, if you do not wish to accept Christianity that's fine, but I have to set something straight so people can stop hatemongering and spreading the wrong message.

The Bible is not a book of tyranny. it is not a book that says, "You WILL obey God." It says, "You should obey God."

Throughout the whole Bible, the message of Liberty is spread. It says that man was meant to rule, and not each other, but over the earth and be caretakers of it. Man is NOT meant to be slaves to any man, and definitely not slaves to God. Each man has his own free will to choose.

The Bible does ask for submission. However to submit is not to be enslaved, it is to willingly serve. You will find that serving others inspires others to serve you. All of the principles of Bill of Rights and dare I say, yes, the Declaration of Independence and natures law, can be directly pulled from the Bible.

I just wanted to clarify that, because many seem to think the Bible is the cause of war. I guess if that's true, than so is Liberty. Because liberty and freedom is exactly what the Bible teaches us to take part in. Just for the record, it also teaches us to stay out of entangling alliances.

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You are ignoring the fact that God is holy and just

and will deliver justice. If one doesn't believe the gospel, he has no fellowship in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

It's not that...

...universalism (at least the specific evangelical universalism I am referring to) lessens the need for the gospel or God being just. I believe just as strongly in all that, if not more so, compared to when I was still holding the eternal, conscious torment view. The focus for me is that we can't decouple God's will and desires and purposes and His unfailing love from His justice and say, 'look -- over there is God's love being demonstrated, and, look -- over here is God's justice being demonstrated', as if we can dissect God into separate components.

Looking at the very purpose of the gospel and justice -- restoration, reconciliation, eventual rehabilitation from exile -- as played out over and over in Scripture with various nested layers of covenants, I see universalism as just affirming that these purposes will be triumphant, that God's will for our redemption will not be thwarted, that all things will be reconciled -- THROUGH the way, the truth, the life that Christ is, THROUGH the gospel -- not apart from it.

yes, good point...about evangelical/christian universalism

...because there is a HUGE difference between unitarians and evangelical universalism....HUGE.

There is only ONE WAY to the FATHER and that is through His Son Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the only way to the Father...He is the DOOR...to get to the Father any other way, would make one a thief and a robber.

Glad you made that distinction! :)

Jesus is the saviour of the WHOLE WORLD, "As in Adam all die, so too in Christ ALL shall be made alive." (ICor.15:22) All means all. The pagan 'hell' of literal fire & eternal torment is a lie and is SPIRITUAL TERRORISM. http://www.hopebeyondhell.net

Here are other translations of those same scriptures

Matt.5:22 "But I say to you that every one who becomes angry with his brother shall be answerable to the magistrate; that whoever says to his brother 'Raca,' shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and that whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the Gehenna of Fire." (WNT)

Matt.5:22 " but I--I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire," (YLT)

Matt.5:22 " but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. " (RV)

Matt.5:22 "(ASV) but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. (AV)

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Matt.5:29 "If therefore your eye, even the right eye, is a snare to you, tear it out and away with it; it is better for you that one member should be destroyed rather than that your whole body should be thrown into Gehenna."(WNT)

Matt.5:29 "But, if thy right eye doth cause thee to stumble, pluck it out and cast from thee, for it is good to thee that one of thy members may perish, and not thy whole body be cast to gehenna. (YLT)

*************************************************

Matt.10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." (WNT)

Matt.10:28 "And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy in gehenna".(YLT)

***********************************

The concept of eternal torment in a literal Hell has its roots in Paganism.

Gehenna was the valley where the grossest form of idol worship happened in the history of the nation of Israel...this was the place where parents sacrificed their children to the false god Molech by burning them alive. God rebuked Israel and said that such a thing never even "entered His mind" for them to do such a thing! (Jer.32:35) "How could God say such a thing to Israel, if He has plans to burn alive a good majority of His own creation in a spiritual and eternal Gehenna of His own making?"(quote from Mercy Aiken "Honest Questions and Answers about Hell").

The following I quote from "Honest Questions and Answers about Hell"

" **FACT: The King James Bible erroneously translates the word “Sheol” as Hell a total of 31 times in the Old Testament, thus setting a foundation for that doctrine in the New Testament as well as the majority of Bible translations to follow the KJV. Even so, most new translations have completely eliminated Hell from the Old Testament, as honest and better scholarship has demanded. The Jewish version of the Old Testament (the Tanakh) has no concept of Hell in it. The importance of this fact cannot be over-emphasized. If a doctrine does not appear as seed form in the books of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, it cannot fairly be taught as a major biblical doctrine, if indeed it can be taught as biblical at all!

Hell Is Not a New Testament Doctrine:

Popular myth: Jesus spoke of Hell more than He did of Heaven. This is not true! Jesus warned the Jews many times of impending destruction, both nationally and individually. He used several different terms to refer to punishment/destruction, some of which were erroneously translated as the same word, “Hell” by Bible translators. We do not deny that God will indeed judge the whole world, and nor do we wish to make light of His judgments. Rather, we are challenging the belief that His judgment on sin and unbelief is eternal torment/Hell and never-ending separation from God. Certainly, Jesus spent a lot of his ministry warning people to repent or reap the consequences, (particularly “Gehenna.”) But could we be reading more into His warnings than He originally intended?

Think about it.......

If Hell is real, why were most of the warnings pertaining to punishment/Gehenna directed to Israel, particularly the Lord's own disciples as well as the Pharisees? The first great cluster of references to Gehenna, are found in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:22, 29, 30), Jesus' great sermon to His disciples in which He warned that one was in danger of Gehenna for the likes of calling someone a fool. This is a far cry from our modern Evangelical interpretation that says not accepting Jesus as your Savior is what sends someone to Hell. Are we perhaps missing the symbolism that Jesus originally intended?

If Hell is real, aren't we taking verses out of context when we warn sinners/outsiders of Hell, when in the original context they were directed to covenant people?

Since the concept of Hell doesn't exist in the Old Testament, how could Jesus and his disciples teach that salvation was deliverance from a place that is not even found in their Scriptures? And if He was introducing the subject for the first time, why did He do it so casually, as though His listeners already understood what He was talking about?

If Hell is real, since some English translations use the word Hell for the Greek word "Gehenna," in the New Testament, why didn't this same place (Gehenna) get translated Hell in the many places where it appears in the Hebrew form "ga ben Hinnom" in the Old Testament?

If the Jews did not understand “Gehenna” as a symbol of everlasting torture, but rather as a place of shame, filth, and defilement (where Israel participated in the grossest form of idol worship), why does modern theology ascribe more to the word than the original meaning did? The teaching of Gehenna has evolved in Jewish teachings to include punishment in the afterlife; but even today, Gehenna still does not mean "endless" punishment to the Jews.

If Hell is real how could the Apostle Paul (who was especially commissioned by God to preach the gospel to the nations) say that he had declared the entire counsel of God (Acts 20:27), when indeed he never warned of “Hell” in any of his letters? If Hell is real, wouldn’t Paul, of all people, warn of it repeatedly?

If Hell is real, the sin/death of Adam has had a far more powerful effect on the world than the resurrection life of Christ! And yet Paul declares in Romans 5 that Christ's victory is far greater than Adam's transgression! Listen to Paul's confidence in the work of Christ! If Paul believed in eternal hell for the majority of men, how could he write the following verses?

“…Just as the result of one trespass (Adam’s) was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness (Christ’s) was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18,19).

“Since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)

"For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe" (1 Timothy 4;10).

(The above verses are just a few of the many verses where Paul writes of a pre-eminent Christ that far transcends the traditional Christian view. This article is full of many more New Testament references by Paul that display his views of the Christ triumphant, unlimited, all-powerful, all-conquering, and victorious). " (endquote)
http://www.tentmaker.org/ifhellisreal.htm

Be blessed!

Jesus is the saviour of the WHOLE WORLD, "As in Adam all die, so too in Christ ALL shall be made alive." (ICor.15:22) All means all. The pagan 'hell' of literal fire & eternal torment is a lie and is SPIRITUAL TERRORISM. http://www.hopebeyondhell.net

sorry, i replied above

.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Gehenna

was the name of the place Jerusalem of the time disposed of garbage, literally.

Therefore, the previous translation in the reply above yours was technically correct.

I guess what it comes down to is--how important is truth to you?

It really doesn't matter if God is not libertarian enough to suit us, what matters is---is He real and is what He says true?

I can tell you that biblically, God is libertarian. But, truth is still truth. God made us so He knows what is good for us. So, we are free to 'opt out' if you will, but there will be consequences. I found the following illustration on another site very helpful in explaining what I mean.

"If I place before you water or an extremely toxic liquid, libertarianism says that you have a free will and can drink either or neither liquid. But when you’ve made your decision, you have no say in the consequence. The LAWS of nature dictate the reaction. Try as you may, you cannot decide your fate if you choose to drink the poison. And try as you might not to, at some point, you’re gonna have to pee if you drink the water. And if you don’t drink either, well you’ll get dehydrated. The law prescribes the outcome."

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

The analogy is flawed.

You can drink the water, or the poison, OR NEITHER. With God, you don't have the choice to drink neither. You either follow him and go to heaven, or reject him and be punished with hell. There is no "drink neither" option.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

It was not an analogy to illustrate salvation, but

natural consequences.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Hell is the natural consequence?

So rape is the natural consequence of a woman "choosing" not to have sex with a man? Just like hell is the natural consequence of not "choosing" to follow god?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

SteveMT's picture

The government says that taxes are totally voluntary.

You will go to jail if you don't pay (unless you are a big dog like Geithner or Charlie Rangel). This seems to be an either or, no inbetweens.

My complements snakepit22 in your trying to get through to them. Don't get too frustrated.

It's called the law of sin and death. Like it or not, it's the

way it is.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

"free, with consequenses".

That doesn't make sense. That is like saying, "I'm free to opt out of Obamacare, but then I get taxed if I do." That means I'm not free to opt out of Obamacare.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

i really don't know how to make it any clearer.

please reread what i wrote.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

What if?

You keep distorting it to make it seem like God doesn't punish you for not "choosing" his way. God created everything according to you correct? Hell isn't just some random place you can go if you don't want to go to heaven. Hell is God's punishment for you for not getting into heaven. Jail is societies punishment for you for not following their laws. You don't have the "free will" to follow the laws or not. You are forced into following them or you must suffer the punishment. If you don't follow God's laws, you are punished, not simply left alone to your own devices. You seem to want me to believe that going to hell is just "my choice" if I don't want to follow God's law. I don't want to follow his law AND I don't want to go to hell. Their is no option, according to this religion, where I'm not punished if I don't follow the path.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

From a tract a friend of mine wrote...

“BUT WHY DOES GOD HAVE TO GET SO ANGRY AND DAMN EVERYONE OVER A FEW LITTLE SINS?”

It is our attitude that sin is “little” or of no significance that makes us blameworthy and damnable in God’s sight.

If God did not intervene, sin would still end in death. You have seen sin strangle love, shatter the family, stab friends in the back, mock things that really matter, turn its back on compassion, lie to the conscience, and knowingly do the very things that bring regret in the morning.

God has promised to put an end to sin. He has condemned sin and everything associated with it, including the earth we are living on. Sin eternally separates one from God. As long as you are engaged in sin you are the enemy of God, and are destined for destruction.

HELL IS A REAL PLACE

“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:49–50).

God did not create Hell to satisfy his anger but to satisfy his holiness. HELL IS EARTH’S JUNK YARD, THE HAZARDOUS WASTE DUMP OF THE UNIVERSE. It is the black hole that finally sucks in all that is rebellious, unkind, proud, lustful, and destructive.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

That literally answers nothing I have asked.

I know you think hell is real. I know you think God is real. I'm not asking you to tell me about it and proof it's real to me. I'm asking you to tell me why you are libertarian in your mindset, when your foundation for existence is something so extremely non-libertarian. Obama isn't our king who can damn us to the dungeon if we don't like the rules he created, and you wouldn't accept a monarch like that here on earth. However, in the story of your creator, he is just like a monarch who damns people to the dungeon of they don't want ot live by his rules. I just want to know why you think like a libertarian here in the USA, but your example from the heavens doesn't operate in a manner consistent with that philosophy.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

go back to the analogy.

If we drink heavily, we will get cirrhosis of the liver. If we don't eat healthily, we will get sick. If we sleep around, we will get an STD. Libertarianism says, you make the choice--you take the consequences. God says, you make the choice--you take the consequences. There are physical consequences, but also eternal consequences because God is just. BECAUSE HE IS THE CREATOR, He has that right. Obama has no rights over me or any other human being.

God did not originally create men to be ruled by other men. He created them to walk in loving fellowship with himself.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

GoodSamaritan's picture

How does one "opt out" of Creation?

Either God made you or He didn't. If He did, then there is no "opt out".

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

He didn't.

So I don't have to worry about it. However, if he did, that is like saying your parents can torture you because they made you. You just admitted there is no opt out if God is real. Having said that, how is he not a tyrant, and how is Christianity compatible with liberty? If your god has this authority over us because he created us, and he punishes us for not worshiping him, how is he not a king, and we his subjects, and how is that compatable with the ideas of liberty?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

It really doesn't matter if

It really doesn't matter if God is not libertarian enough to suit us, what matters is---is He real and is what He says true?

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

GoodSamaritan's picture

SInce you are absolutely certain

that God is not your Maker, no need for you to keep asking questions about Christianity...right? :)

Justice is not tyranny. Punishment is not torture.

As for God, He is my King, and Christ came to set His people free. I have freedom now, to grow into the person I should be; and freedom for eternity after this life, when I will be all that I was meant to be.

There is no greater liberty that I can imagine.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

What I believe is true is not the point of this debate.

The point is to reconcile the authoritarianism of Christianity with the ideas of the liberty movement. I don't care that I don't think God is real, I'm not really worried about hell and heaven and all that. I just want someone to effectively explain why you are okay with the rule of God as a king and autocrat, but you won't accept a king for your country.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

Because King of a country is not

God!! Huge difference. Furthermore, whether you like it or not, you submit to natural law all the time. When you walk are you not subject to the natural law of gravity? God created gravity too.

As I recall...

...my intentions when debating this post, I simply wanted Christians to admit that God is not libertarian. You have done that in claiming that I am subject to him and his natural laws. So on that we agree. My issue with most folks on this thread was that they want to claim God is not a ruler, because he gives us the choice to obey him, or burn in hell, which is really no choice at all.
On a completely different topic, obviously telling me that god created gravity and I'm subject to that law as well, is basically wasted typing on your part because you know that as an atheist, I just don't believe it, so we don't really have much to discuss in that regard. If you have any further comments or opinions on how God may be libertarian and consistent with this movement, I'd be happy to hear them, but I think you and I both agree on that point. God rules us (if he exists) and we are subject to him to the point that we can't "opt out" in the same manner that we should be able to when it comes to our earthly government programs such as social security or obamacare.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

GoodSamaritan's picture

That's a softball question for Christians

Since we see God as Holy, Perfect, Omniscient, Creator of Life, source of all Truth, full of infinite Love and Grace, etc., we want Him as our King.

Can't honestly say any of those things about an earthly king.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Hardball.

It seems like a hardball question for your Christian frends on here, because you are the only one who even attempted to answer it. While I don't agree with your belief, your answer was the only one anybody gave that addressed my questions, and admitted that you want a king, just not an earthly one.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

It really doesn't matter if

It really doesn't matter if God is not libertarian enough to suit us, what matters is---is He real and is what He says true?

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

let me rephrase, snakepit22

How can I be saved without admitting I need to be saved in the first place?

sorry, but that didn't help.

So how does that answer my question about opting out? If I don't think I need saved (and if the religion is true), then I still go to hell. So, I like your AA quote, "the first step is admitting you have a problem", but that doesn't answer my questions about opting out, at all.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).