Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My God Your God His God Her God

In response to the comment which states the belief that there is not just one path to salvation, what are the implications versus God’s commandment “Do not have any other gods before me?” Is yours the same God as Allah?

Would it sound strange to you if I said that I steadfastly believe in the gods of olympus? Would it sound strange to you if I said I still believe in the tooth fairy? Why are these any different?

There was a time when religious teachings were concrete, and one abided by them completely. Now, we make up the rules as we go along, and we fit them to our individual beliefs. They can change without notice at our whim. This, it appears to me, is why we have 35,000 different sects within Christianity. I know Christians who believe in Karma and Reincarnation when the idea suits them. Probably the most obvious hypocrisy in the ’10 Commandments’ flies in the face of “Thou shalt not kill.” Christians have been some of history’s deadliest people. During the Crusades, we annihilated Muslims, Russian and Greek Orthodox, Jews, Mongols, Slavs, Prussians, Waldensians, Hussites, and Cathars. It turned into arbitrary mass murder of ‘heretics’ and ‘pagans’ and whoever else needed to die. During the Spanish Inquisition, as many as 50,000 people were killed.  

I'd also like to respond to a comment about what caused so many of us to become Christians:
American Christianity stems directly from the spread of death and destruction in the name of Jesus Christ into Western Europe where the power of the sword gave way to the annihilation of Native Americans which literally forced the dogma of Christianity on the North and South American continents down the barrel of English, Spanish, and French guns. Americans would not be having this conversation if it was not for the efficiency of the killing machine that was the Christian Empire of the Old World. It seems that a sort of historical amnesia has taken place. Since the Second Great Awakening, countless billions of dollars have been made peddling the modern idea of Personal Jesus. Nowadays, over 35,000 protestant Christian sects cherry pick from the Bible, forming ever-mutating interpretations of the Word of God. The wrath of God has been glossed over in the modern Christian movement. It’s an afterthought, a touchy subject to get into the true Word of God. So that we do not forget about which God we speak, let’s put it into perspective. Is this a righteous God of love? This is the word of the Lord:

Deuteronomy 5:9 -- “You shall not bow down to [other gods] or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me.”
Proverbs 3:5 -- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not.”
Proverbs 23:2 -- “And put a knife to your throat if you have a ravenous appetite.”
Leviticus 20:9 -- “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
Sirach 22:16 -- “Masonry bonded with wooden beams is not loosened by an earthquake.”
Ezekiel 9:5-7 -- "Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told."
2 Kings 2:23-24 -- “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.”
Leviticus 20:13 -- “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
Genesis 29:28 -- "And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also."
Deuteronomy 22:20-1 -- “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”
Exodus 35:2 -- “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.”
Exodus 31:12-15 -- “The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.  Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.  Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest.  I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.'”
Numbers 31:25-35 -- “And the LORD said to Moses, 'You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals.  Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people.  But first give the LORD his share of the captives, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats that belong to the army. Set apart one out of every five hundred as the LORD's share.  Give this share of their half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the LORD.  Also take one of every fifty of the captives, cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats in the half that belongs to the people of Israel.  Give this share to the Levites in charge of maintaining the LORD's Tabernacle.'  So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.  The plunder remaining from the spoils that the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 young girls.”
Exodus 21:20-21 -- "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property."
Psalm 137:9 -- “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”
Deuteronomy 13:7-12 -- "If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.  Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you.  You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.  And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." 
1 Peter 2:18 -- “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 -- “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Leviticus 21:16-23 -- “Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron that in all future generations, his descendants who have physical defects will not qualify to offer food to their God.  No one who has a defect may come near to me, whether he is blind or lame, stunted or deformed, or has a broken foot or hand, or has a humped back or is a dwarf, or has a defective eye, or has oozing sores or scabs on his skin, or has damaged testicles.  Even though he is a descendant of Aaron, his physical defects disqualify him from presenting offerings to the LORD by fire.  Since he has a blemish, he may not offer food to his God.  However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings.  Yet because of his physical defect, he must never go behind the inner curtain or come near the altar, for this would desecrate my holy places.  I am the LORD who makes them holy.’”
Deuteronomy 3:1-7 --  "Next we headed for the land of Bashan, where King Og and his army attacked us at Edrei.  But the LORD told me, 'Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his army, giving you his entire land.  Treat him just as you treated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.'  So the LORD our God handed King Og and all his people over to us, and we killed them all.  We conquered all sixty of his towns, the entire Argob region in his kingdom of Bashan.  These were all fortified cities with high walls and barred gates.  We also took many unwalled villages at the same time.  We completely destroyed the kingdom of Bashan, just as we had destroyed King Sihon of Heshbon. We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered – men, women, and children alike.  But we kept all the livestock for ourselves and took plunder from all the towns." 
Matthew 10:34-36 -- "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth.  I have come to bring not peace but the sword.  For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household'.”
Luke 19:27 -- “But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.”
Leviticus 26:27-35 -- “If after this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility.  I will punish you seven times over for your sins.  You will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters.  I will destroy your pagan shrines and cut down your incense altars.  I will leave your corpses piled up beside your lifeless idols, and I will despise you.  I will make your cities desolate and destroy your places of worship, and I will take no pleasure in your offerings of incense.  Yes, I myself will devastate your land.  Your enemies who come to occupy it will be utterly shocked at the destruction they see.  I will scatter you among the nations and attack you with my own weapons. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins.  Then at last the land will make up for its missed Sabbath years as it lies desolate during your years of exile in the land of your enemies.  Then the land will finally rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.  As the land lies in ruins, it will take the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it.”
Leviticus 26:21-22 -- “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins.  I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.”
Psalm 104:5 -- “You [God] fixed the earth on its foundation, never to be moved.”
Deuteronomy 23:2 -- “No one whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may be admitted into the community of the Lord.”

Jeremiah 18:21-22 -- “So let their children starve!  Let the sword pour out their blood!  Let their wives become widows without any children!  Let their old men die in a plague, and let their young men be killed in battle!  Let screaming be heard from their homes as warriors come suddenly upon them.  For they have dug a pit for me, and they have hidden traps along my path.”
Jeremiah 8:17 -- “Yes, I will send against you poisonous snakes, Against which no charm will work when they bite you, says the LORD.”
 1 Kings 20:35-36 -- “Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, "Strike me!"  But the man refused to strike the prophet.  Then the prophet told him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me."  And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him.”
Ezekiel 4:12-15 -- “Each day prepare your bread as you would barley cakes.  While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread.  For this is what the LORD says: Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands, where I will banish them!"  Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, must I be defiled by using human dung?  For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or that I found dead. And I have never eaten any of the animals that our laws forbid."  "All right," the LORD said.  "You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.”
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 -- “If two Israelite men are fighting and the wife of one tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the testicles of the other man, her hand must be cut off without pity.”
Sirach 9:2 -- “Give no woman power over you to trample upon your dignity.”
Colossians 3:18 -- “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord.”
Proverbs 25:21-22 -- “If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink; For live coals you will heap on his head, and the Lord will vindicate you.”


Claire Humpage said...

Again i state that the bible is written by man. It has been translated by man.
I believe in one god and i believe we are all following the one god, however i believe that different cultures have translated the bible differently to suit their needs.
Also the Old testament is completely different from the New testament. In the Old testament there was no forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Greetings! A well composed article.

Brad Hoffstetter
Communications Division
Assembly of good Christians

MJ said...

Another great post! I think a lot of people who believe in God see him as a personable, compassionate God. Yet they seem to not look at or notice certain verses that note otherwise. They dont take into consideration the option of there being a God...but God as the creator, not the all mighty and powerful being...just as the force that created us. Or the option of there being no God at all.

I bought a book today that sounds interesting, maybe you have read it or heard of it, its called the Omnivores Dilemma. Let's talk again soon! said...

I think you are right in saying that historically, traditional Christianity is widespread on this contintent because of the force of European arms. And traditional Christianity is not necessarily the true Christianity of the Bible.

One effect this history has had is to make the Bible widespread, and anyone whose mind is open can learn the truth from the Bible.

Some translations are better than others. I find the NKJV and the KJV versions to be the most accurate, and with difficult scriptures one can always use a reference work to look up words in the original language.

Under the New Covenant, forgiveness of sins and eternal life are made available, which were never available under the Old Covenant. But the law of God in the Old Testament is the same as the law in the New Testament. What has changed is that under the New Covenant, God's law is written in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

But even though the New Testament teaches much more about the New Covenant which includes forgiveness and eternal life, both the Old Testament and the New Testament are the inspired Word of God and are true. One builds and the other.

Anonymous said...

wait... the tooth fairy isn't real???

kd said...

Why are these any different?

They're not any different. At least, I don't believe they are. I think that's why I have a hard time with the concept of religion. I don't think there is any one way that is *more* right than any other way. That's why, like I said in my previous comment, I'm satisfied with just believing in myself and what I can do. Regardless of whether I believe in any sort of god, I don't think there's a way to know what should be believed. Maybe I'm just wishy-washy? Okay, that's probably true. But I don't think there is any significant proof from any one religion that could convince me that one sect is more right than another.

lisa said...

ahhh i see, you sort of touched on what i mentioned in my previous comment.

i think there isn't a good excuse for Christians who choose what they will and will not believe from the Bible. i don't believe that all paths lead to salvation - i believe Jesus when he says that he is the way, and all the theological meaning behind his death and resurrection. i mean a Christian is a follower of Christ so how can you follow him and not follow what he says? that's my own question.

anyway, i think those verses you picked out are worth some study. as far as the crusades and other violences - i believe that was human sin. as well as hypocrisy in churches... i don't blame that on God but on the realization that we aren't perfect and that we're still sinful.

oh, and i believe that God does have wrath - but that the wrath of God was satisfied in Christ. it's not right to say that God has no wrath or no feelings on sin, in my belief.

thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

noellehere said...

Sometimes I find myself changing the way the bible goes... like foe example, in my last comment on updating the bible. It's true though. The bible was written by a group of people back in the day. It's only fair that if you are taking a present view on religion that you give it a present view. Altercations are a progressional way of human life. I think in the bible it's says we are allowed slaves.. do you think the god we all talk about would allow slaves? Obviously some sly guy threw that in last minute as well as few other little tid bits. Like gay marriage. Now like a lot of topics, gay relationships was not always, and still remains a soar subject to some.. feel whatever the hell you want, it in no way should effect a man and man visa versa marriage to one another. Human rights are human rights. Facts are facts. progression is progression. If any of them are, they all are. It can't be called judgment if it's not.

Joanna said...

Well you are well read & highly inteligent, but obviously not well travelled.
The most beauty I have seen is in third world countries, the most loving, happy & accepting people I have met are in third world countries. They dont need the trapings we have given ourselves, like Jesus they live uncomplicated lives with family, love & all the things that realy matter in life. Their life is very hard but then our problem is we have made things too easy.
There are many many countries where survival is very hard, but this is MAN MADE, how can you blame God who gave us all free will.
Do you realy want God to wave a magic wand, to dictate what we can & can't do, so you want to be a robot in fairy land?
Ever heard of Idi Amin???
Yes we REAL Christians have real faith, but mine is not blind as many others could testify but your not interested in the many millions of people where God was, is & always will be real in their everyday lives.
I have many instances where God has stepped in I can never not believe.
I am happy that I am intouch with my soul, that I have been destroyed, rejected, abandoned etc etc but also that I have acceptance, Love, commitment etc & I am not talking about Jesus here but normal everyday.
I am a very fiesty woman who has lived, not a wishy washy downtroden runt who need something fairytale in life!
I would not insult you by saying I feel sorry for you, I don't, but I am sorry you feel you have to rant against the followers of Jesus, what is it about his name that gets you going?
Yes God in the old testament is wrathfull, the old testament is all about humankinds inabillity to follow God even when he is so close you can walk with him, it shows us now how powerfull he is. Yes he can wipe out whole nations, he can destroy the Taliban & all terrorists, he can hold back nature BUT YOU DONT WANT TO BE A ROBOT, YOU WANT FREE WILL WHICH IS WHAT WE HAVE.
God cannot be blamed for the death of babies, abstract poverty,the destruction of the world trade centre & all those in her, by the way this has been happening all over the world for centuries, millions have died through terrorist bombs it didnt start & end in USA!
Jesus is the difference, Jesus brings forgiveness, love, hope if we lived by his teachings the world would be sane!
As for science DNA has proved we come from one set of parents, that all babies start as female.....
I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong or right but If you are right & I am wrong I have lost nothing, now or especialy when I die, of which I am certain, BUT if I am right & you are wrong you have everything to lose. This is not faith through fear as I have nothing to fear, thanks.
My life is full oh & I am about to leave the relative comfort of England to live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere with people who have nothing but are lovely, happy, family orientated but live a hard life.
Wish me luck & I wish you love, joy & a happy life.