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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Really?

So I can choose not to go to heaven or hell? So I can choose to opt of of Gods system? That isn't my understanding. You will be judged, and according to your actions, you go where ever God judges that you should go. Does he base it off of your actions? Sure. But that is no different than a judge who sentences you. Sure your actions dictate the sentence, but you didn't have a choice about going to court. You were forced. Same with God. You can play by his rules and "choose" heaven or "choose" hell, but either way, you have to go to his court and be judged by him and according to his rules. You don't have a choice about that.

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

Well....

...if you don't believe any heaven or hell exists, then you believe you would go to neither, correct?

So, again I must ask what your beef is. It can't exist and not exist at the same time.

correct... for me

correct... for me

i don't want to speak for snakepit22.

My beef is that some of the religious use government force to try and keep people from doing things which conflict with the church rules under the guise of "saving" them from sin/damnation. This has real world ramifications the adversely affect billions of people.

for example... trying to make abortion illegal, dry counties and limited alcohol purchases on sundays are just the tip of the churches influence over our government laws. Atheists and even other religions could care less about these laws, but the people vote to take my choices/rights away under the influence of the church...

Most muslim countries provide AMPLE MODERN proof of government force being used to limit choices under the banner of religion.

The various christian churches in centuries past were not any better in this regard compared to even the worst muslim countries today.

If the Christians had their way with our laws... then America would have sharia law 2.0 christian style. (like prohibition and a million other laws which the church deems to be sinful)

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

Now hold on a second... you are mish-mashing

1) I think every person on DP agrees, including religionists that state religion is unacceptable.

2) Let's take abortion as an example and let's use the United States for a second. I don't think anyone disagrees that in the United States it would be inappropriate to legislate abortion in EITHER DIRECTION, for or against. That is Ron Paul's position. I.e. it's not in the constitution, so it's a state issue. At the state level, we're state citizens to determine abortion is legal or illegal, that's a state concern. If private (non-state) churches or if NOW or Planned Parenthood organized at the state legal to push through a law to ban it or to allow it, good for them, politically speaking. Why in this scenario would you believe that what a church were to organize would be inappropriate? It would be no different than what you might do or planned parenthood might do or what C4L might do. It would be completely appropriate.

On #1 I agree

#2

I don't care if it the state level or not... If the church is voting to limit peoples choices with the heavy hand of the law... it's bad news. It within their right to try and push through this type of regulation, but that doesn't make it right. This goes back to the point that the church has been and still is tyrannical in nature since it is HELL bent of limiting peoples freedom by trying to make their interpretation of sins illegal. I can't even think of one idea the church is lobbying for where peoples freedom/choices will expand.

In the case of abortion planned parent hood is actually pushing for more freedom unlike the church. They shouldn't get funding from the government same as churches shouldn't be exempt in taxes but that a whole other story.

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

More "freedom" for some....

....death for the baby.

By the way, Ron Paul cares if it's at the state level or not, because he's the champion of the constitution.

If I create something do I not own it?

God created everything and fills it with himself which we refer to as Good. Then gave free will to man to choose weather they want to be with God or not. For those that want nothing to do with God he created a place that is devoid of himself (anything good)for these people. He is just giving you what you want.

You left something out.

Many of you keep leaving something important out. You keep leaving out the part where you tell us about the alternative to following Gods path. You keep leaving out the concept of hell. Let's say God is real, and he "owns" me because he owns whatever he creates, or at least he owns this world. I wasn't given a chance to opt out. Either I play by his rules or he punishes me. That isnt' a choice. Choice would be I can opt out of his system, basically, just die and be gone forever. Instead, God forces me to choice his way, or eternal suffering, I can't opt out of this, so to say that I have some choice is like saying I have a choice between following Hitlers rules or being sent to a prison camp. If I don't "Choose" Hitlers rules, then I suffer. You can spin it however you want, but that isn't choice, and that isn't liberty, and it isn't consistent with the ideas of liberty here on earth.

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

No you keep misrepresenting it.

The alternative to God's path is your own business. God doesn't put you in jail or the lake of fire, he just doesn't admit you to his private property, i.e. his Kingdom, if you do not follow his house rules.

What you do outside of His kingdom or where you go is your own business.

Cool.

So there is no hell. And I don't have to go to hell if I don't want to go to heaven? That is great. That makes me happy. I mean, that isn't what the bible says. It specifically says that if you don't follow God's way, and accept his son Jesus as your savior, then you will go to hell. But I don't believe something written so long ago anyway. I'd rather believe you. And you say that I don't have to go to heaven or hell. I can opt out, and I guess just die? That was the answer I was hoping for. That means I'm free to opt out of God's system.

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

No it doesn't actually say that.

You made that up.

One does NOT need to know the entire Bible

When a person truly becomes saved ( all God's work ) they will want to know more about the Bible and therefore will do whatever they can to best understand it. They will begin by reading it!

NOBODY, absolutely NOBODY, knows all the Bible and all that is written therein and the meaning of everything within those pages!

Only Jesus KNEW all the Scriptures!

Salvation, that is the message of the Bible!

There was a begingin of all things, and likewise, there will be an end of all things.

Where will you go when you die?

Why not call out unto Him who alone can save and beseech His mercy?

"Repent, or perish" were the words of Christ as He began His ministry.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" the Bible says again and again!

If one becomes saved, they will then follow the precepts written in the Bible and have a new heart that desires to follow God's commandments ( never perfectly though because while on this earth we all live in our sinful flesh). Our heart will be at war with our flesh and that will go on until the day of death or when Christ comes.

To mock God, His Word, and His people, is to show openly ones hate for truth and love for their sinful ways and their complete disregard for the things eternal.

Set your heart on things above and not on the things that are to perish.

Again, cry out unto the Lord for forgiveness, repent or perish....believe and follow Jesus Christ and His teachings, and live no longer for the things of this wicked and fallen world, but live unto Him who will one day come and take you home to an eternity of everything that will be perfect in every way.

Now that is something to look forward to, and it is surely going to come soon!

Peace

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

what do you mean

'open for interpretation'? I was simply showing that saying any text means this or that is not as simple as reading the words on the page. Any text requires care to glean meaning from it. This has nothing to do with God being gracious or someone burning in hell if they get it wrong. Set aside your sarcasm and see if you can agree with me on that. I would say it's no different for the Quran. You could read the Bible and say that God obviously approves of murder because Moses was a murderer. But would that be really faithful to what the text is saying? No. Just because the Bible contains something doesn't mean it advocates for it. For example, your post said these words, "what a gracious God to leave us instructions for life." But was that what you were trying to say? Obviously not. Stop trying to make the issue so simple, you can do better.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

But it is that simple.

I have two devout Christian friends who attend church on different days. One attends on Sunday, and the other on Saturday, because they both read the bible and took different parts to mean different things, so now, one is following the will of God, and one is mistakenly not following the will. Why? Because the bible was written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people. Sorry for the sarcasm, but it is just ridiculous to me that a perfect being left us imperfect instructions, instructions which have visibly led to people following the religion in vastly different manners. These descrepencies lead me to wonder if it really matters at all what you take from the bible, even if you believe or don't believe that it's alleged writer existed.

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

Maybe

Let's face it. One of your friends is wrong. I believe the Bible is clear about matters of importance. This is called the perspicuity of scripture. It is important to note what the clarity of Scripture does not mean. It does not mean that interpretation is unnecessary. Nor does it mean that an autonomous individual can, by employing critical techniques alone, wrest the meaning from the text. Rather, clarity means that the Bible is sufficiently unambiguous in the main for any well-intentioned person with Christian faith to interpret each part with relative adequacy. This idea not is believed by all Christians (i.e. Catholics). But it was the chief weapon for combating the authority of Roman Catholic Church during the reformation.

The idea that the Bible is clear does not obviate the need for interpretation but, on the contrary, makes the work of interpretation even more important. The clarity of Scripture means that understanding is possible, not that it is easy. Redeeming the text does not mean reconciling all interpretive conflicts. The clarity of Scripture, in other words, does not mean that we will know everything there is to know about the text, but that we will know enough to be able, and responsible, to respond to its subject matter. The clarity of Scripture is not a matter of its obviousness so much as its efficacy; the Bible is clear enough to render its communicative action effective.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Who decides what is important?

You believe the bible is clear about matters of importance? Who decides what is important? Is the bible "clear" about what is important? And then it tells you "all the hazy stuff just isn't really imporant".

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

I'm not saying

that the Bible is hazy. It is all important. My point is that the central message of the Bible is able to be understood. Who decides what is important? The Bible itself does. Like any book, each book in the Bible has a theme. Each book has a topic, an author, an audience, a message. It is not difficult to see what the central message of the Bible is; God's redeemer Jesus. All of scripture points to him and his work, the Old Testament points to when the messiah would come and what he would do. The New Testament points to what he did and what it means for us today.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Not Tyranny?

(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.)

This is like saying that when you are arrested for a crime, you have the choice not to obey the police (but if you choose not to come quietly, you will be shot).
According to this bible, if you make the "choice" not to submit to God, you will burn in hell for eternity. I really don't see how that is different from any other tyrant who uses force and intimidation to make you submit to their will.

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

Are you an anarchist?

Because if you are not, then you must believe in a system of punishment. Why is it wrong then, to believe that the creator who gave us our moral compass, would also punish sinful behavior? Only true anarchists would believe that there should be no punishment. Libertarians still have a moral compass under which they live.

Why does punishment = tyranny in an atheist's mind?

Am I off-base?

Who made up the rules?

In our system, the society makes up the rules and then the punishment is dished out by that same society (in theory). One man doesn't make the law, and then administer the punishment. In Christianity, God made the laws without our approval or input. I'm not quite an anarchist, and I see your analogy, but it still isn't the same. We have a republic (sort of) where the government is not in the hands of the private royalty, but in the hands of the public. King George dished out punishment right? Think about why he was a tyrant rather than a President like Jefferson. Same scenario goes for god, in my mind. We the people have no say in the government he rules with. He makes the laws and punishes, judge jury and executioner style.

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

So, if Heaven were a

So, if Heaven were a Republic, with the same set of rules, you'd be okay with that?!

Silliness.

No.

I wouldn't be okay with it. I am not okay with the tyranny of democracy which we have now. Plus, I don't believe in heaven. If I did, then I would believe in God, and I'd be okay with the fact that he is a tyrant.
Because I don't believe in him, or heaven, I'm really not concerned that this fictional character is a tyrant, I just confused as to why people who believe in him, also believe in Ron Paul style liberty. They just don't seem compatable to me.

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

"I just confused as to why

"I just confused as to why people who believe in him, also believe in Ron Paul style liberty. They just don't seem compatable to me."

Perhaps you should ask Ron Paul about his Christianity and how that fits with his liberty-style?

Wow.

Wow what?

Whats the wow for? I don't know Ron. I can't call him on the phone or email him directly. So, I'm discussing it with people who believe in the liberty message, and also believe in his religion, YOU GUYS. That is why I'm on this thread. So instead of referring me to Ron, whom I will not get to talk to, and who's time I'd probably not waste on this particular subject if I had 30 minutes with him, I'm asking you guys instead. So far, none or your responses to my questions have been "answers" to my questions. I keep asking if you can opt out of God's system, and nobody wants to answer that.

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

You don't believe in heaven?

Well, then in that case, if there is no heaven or hell, what specifically is your beef?

Are missionaries coming to your door bugging you or something? What's your specific beef?

By the way, Ron Paul believes in Christ, God, heaven and hell, so your question in terms of how can someone belief in this stuff and believe in Ron Paul style liberty at the same time is self-evident. Ron Paul HIMSELF beliefs it. So how could you not?

And it confuses me...

...that Ron Paul is Christian. He seems so intelligent in so many areas, but the belief in the God of the bible just doesn't have any logical basis. I'd have the same question for him. I'm not here at the DailyPaul because I follow Ron Paul. I'm here because love liberty and he has done a great job leading that movement, but that doesn't mean I'm a blind follower who bows to all his beliefs. I don't believe in God, heaven or hell, and I don't know why Ron Paul does, or anyone who believes that man has not natural master. I don't have "beef" with hell, or a God who sends people there, because I don't believe that it exists, or that he exists. My issue, rather my question, is simply how does that belief many of you have coincide with the idea of liberty, because from my perspective, God has nothing to do with liberty, and in the bible, he doesn't support 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).

Isn't there an atheist

Isn't there an atheist liberty site somewhere where those who cannot understand Christianity can go to find acceptance? Where they won't have to put up with the "lunatics?"

Belief will rarely be found intellectually, and unfortunately, it sounds like you need some kind of intellectual proof to believe in God.

True freedom is FOUND through Christ. A love for ALL life is found through Christ. Real respect for others and empathy for the poor, widows, fatherless, is found through Christ. But nothing a person here can say to convince you of that. You'll have to search for that on your own.

DailyChristian?

Why should I go to an atheist site? I didn't realize the DailyPaul was a specifically Christian site. I though it said "Peace, Gold, Love", not "Peace, God, Love". In any case, I'm not looking for acceptance, just intelligent debate about the topic. I guess maybe instead of me going somewhere where everyone thinks exactly like I do, maybe you should. I am looking for debate, I'm looking to learn something, rather than be reassured of what I already think I know. The DailyPaul has been a good place for that sort of debate, so I think I'll stay.

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

Yeah, maybe you're right. You know and Ron Paul is dumb.

< eyeroll >

Really? God has nothing to do with liberty? What is the fundamental philosophical principal underlying libertarianism? The non-aggression principle.

What was Jesus' golden rule: treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. This is the principal basis of the NAP. For teaching this dangerous principal, he was tortured and murdered more violently than a mass murderer.

He was also the first to elaborate this principal in history.
He was also the first to elaborate the principal of all men being equal in the eyes of their creator and, from that, come certain inalienable rights.

But, no, you must be right. That has nothing to do with liberty and Ron Paul and the founding fathers are dumb, whereas you are a genius.

Plus,

You talk about Jesus and God like they are two different beings. God didn't walk on earth teaching the golden rule. God ruled from heaven sending people to hell who didn't do what he asked, or who didnt' worship him. Jesus sounds like a cool cat, and if he wasn't also the living embodiement of God (according to the religion), then I'd have no issue with him. However, according to your religion, they are one and the same, and God did many things that don't mesh with the NAP.

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