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Comment: "The Bible is not a book of

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"The Bible is not a book of

"The Bible is not a book of tyranny."

There can be so many things meant by the same word. In this case, the word "tyranny". I have heard a great many atheist and agnostics on the DP refer to the Christian understanding of God (as presented in the Bible) as tyrannical, and Christianity as a thing opposed to human liberty in its very nature. On this very thread are numerous examples.

Some people have a much smaller measure of tyranny than others. One might hear some claim that a parent disciplining a child is tyrannical.

But God does command certain things in scripture.. and scripture presents it without blushing. Most people who take the Bible seriously will admit that these commands are not suggestions. They are indeed commands, and there is a price to pay for violating them. And that price is steep. The Christian God does want us to conduct ourselves in a certain way, and is unyielding when it comes to excuses. Furthermore, these commands go right to the very center of our beings. Not only are certain behaviors commanded and others forbidden, but so are certain forms of speech... and all of it running right down to the very thoughts of the heart (where all sin first sprouts). Such a character is, to many, the very definition of a tyrant.

To the Christian, any man behaving in like manner is a tyrant, and so the atheist sees a double standard. But to the Christian, no man should stand in the place of God. The tyrant, while fallen in his nature, sets himself up in place of the only one to sit upon the throne righteously. Thus, the tyrant is really a rebel of the worst kind against God. For the Christian, it is the very nature of this distinction that allows the Christian to denounce human tyrants, while recognizing God as the King of the Universe. As God, He is perfect in his decrees, even if we do not like them. As King, He can choose to dethrone men at any time, or allow tyrants to rule for any number of reasons. And, as if to add irritation to the libertarian minded Christian, God commands us to submit to earthly rulers. Now a great deal of distinctions could be made here as well, but I'm already tired of writing this, so perhaps another time.

Yet there is a real antithesis going on here between the Christian who denounces Earthly tyranny and the atheist who denounces all ruling authority, even God's. The Christian in turn sees the atheist denunciations of tyranny and asks, "By what standard do you denounce tyranny of any kind? Are there some absolutes that apply in your view? If so, where did they come from? If not, then what makes your denunciations any more valid than a tyrants decree's?"