Am I a "bad" Christian?

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Let me ask you an honest question.

Since the bible gets our origins 100% wrong, why do you think it's at all accurate in telling us where we will go?

Cryo84R:
Let me ask you an honest question.

Since the bible gets our origins 100% wrong, why do you think it's at all accurate in telling us where we will go?

Fun fact, the 4000 year old thing was actually not even in the bible. It is totally possible for the bible to be referring to the big bang. The 4000 years old thing came from a biblical scholar I think in the ...4th century AD?

The bible clearly states 6 days, with god "resting" on the 7th. People today like to try to redefine what a "Day" is, but the book was written by people who lived on this planet which has ~24 hours in a day. Again, if the origins are not literal, then why should the prophecy and salvation be considered literal?

Cryo84R:
The bible clearly states 6 days, with god "resting" on the 7th. People today like to try to redefine what a "Day" is, but the book was written by people who lived on this planet which has ~24 hours in a day. Again, if the origins are not literal, then why should the prophecy and salvation be considered literal?

So...

It all has to be literal or it all has to be metaphor?

Bentusi16:

Cryo84R:
The bible clearly states 6 days, with god "resting" on the 7th. People today like to try to redefine what a "Day" is, but the book was written by people who lived on this planet which has ~24 hours in a day. Again, if the origins are not literal, then why should the prophecy and salvation be considered literal?

So...

It all has to be literal or it all has to be metaphor?

Is it too much to ask for a work that claims to be of divine authority and origin to be consistent? It seem to be less divine inspiration and more "worlds longest running game of telephone."

Cryo84R:

Bentusi16:

Cryo84R:
The bible clearly states 6 days, with god "resting" on the 7th. People today like to try to redefine what a "Day" is, but the book was written by people who lived on this planet which has ~24 hours in a day. Again, if the origins are not literal, then why should the prophecy and salvation be considered literal?

So...

It all has to be literal or it all has to be metaphor?

Is it too much to ask for a work that claims to be of divine authority and origin to be consistent?

Well considering Christians need only be bound and read the New Testament...yes and no? Many of the contradictions people love to point out when bashing the bible is the ones between new/old testament, but those are sort of contradictions for a reason. That was part of the whole point of the schism that eventually lead to two faiths instead of just one.

The bible isn't just one big book. It's divided into three distinct sections, and then further subdivided by authors and where it's drawing from. It was also written over a very long time period. And there are gospels in Christianity that aren't in the bible, due to the whole roman catholic church thing. Does it make them less valid?

I think part of the whole 'thing' is that the bible may be divine whowhatsit and such but it was written by mortal hands, and anything done by mortal hands is ultimately flawed, sort of thing? I find very very very very very very very very very very very very very very few Christians actually take the bible completely at 'it's all literal' value.

The religion of Christianity is not some monolithic thing that all believes in the same thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations bluntly proves that. There is only two real cores to Christianity; the belief in Jesus Christ as a Messiah and prophet of God. A divine figure. The other is that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, and there's actually schisms over whether that is literal or metaphorical.

I'd say the OP, by all intents and actions, is following rather well the parables of Christ and the teaching of Christ, and he apparently believes in Christ the Messiah so, yeah by all definitions he is a christian. A good one at that.

Haters will point to the outdated teachings in the Bible and say these are the things that constitute Christianity, but really the Bible allows for a lot of flexibility in your personal beliefs.

The Only things that will deny you entrance into the Kingdom of God (go to hell), from what I understand, are breaking the 10 commandments, which are reasonable and common sense enough, and not accepting Jesus as your personal savior. Everything else is just advice. The Bible never says you'll go to hell if you don't believe Earth only existed for 6,000 years, or that you'll go to hell if you're a homosexual. There's a lot of cases where the Bible just throws out advice that would be helpful for people living back then, like how Jesus once explained that food goes into your stomach instead of you heart. Are you going to hell if you think food is digested in your heart? No, the point is to give good enough information for people at the time to answer their questions, which is what I think Genesis is because explaining the complected reality behind the creation of the earth would serve no purpose back then.

Also Jesus said "Render Unto Caesar the things which are Caesars and render unto God the things that are God's" which is essentially telling Christians to follow the laws of the land as long as they don't impede God's law. So Christians should have no problem with the laws of their country as long as they're allowed freedom of religion. In this regard "moderate" Christians have been obeying the teachings of Jesus much better than fundamentalists. Christianity is supposed to be a personal thing, not a government thing.

And in reference to what I said about Genesis, I think you, as an open minded Christian, will find this account of Genesis by an MIT professor to be very interesting:

Cryo84R:
The bible clearly states 6 days, with god "resting" on the 7th. People today like to try to redefine what a "Day" is, but the book was written by people who lived on this planet which has ~24 hours in a day. Again, if the origins are not literal, then why should the prophecy and salvation be considered literal?

Well for starters the ancient world didn't much care about literal readings as much as we today do and much of what was written was understood to be symbolically true rather than literally so. Unfortunately our mindset is far enough removed from that of the culture that wrote it that we can have trouble grasping their meaning without extra effort. The translations naturally compound this issue. For instance, are you familiar with the hebrew word for man/mankind/humankind? It's "adam" (using our roman alphabet, of course). This is a significant aspect of the story which can greatly change its meaning. Unfortunately, it's a detail that we simply don't get in most translations unless either a) the reader is familiar with the hebrew language or b) the reader actually researches the story using additional sources, as its translated form makes the symbolism of that name less apparent. Mind you, this is but one detail amongst many.

If I might be so bold, I'd like to direct you to a pair of papers that I feel express this far more eloquently than I'm liable to:

Biblical Literalism: Constricting the Cosmic Dance by Conrad Hyers.
It will seem to ramble a bit at first, but it gets very interesting midway through. For the sake of sampling, allow me to supply a relevant exerpt:

A case in point is the supposition that the numbering of days in Genesis is to be understood in an arithmetical sense. The use of numbers in ancient religious texts was usually numerological rather than numerical; that is, their symbolic value was more important than their secular value as counters. To deal with numbers in a religious context as an actual numbering of days, or eons, is an instance of the way in which a literal reading loses the symbolic richness of the text.

While the conversion of numerology to arithmetic was essential for the rise of modern science, historiography and mathematics, in which numbers had to be neutralized and emptied of any symbolic suggestion in order to be utilized, the result is that numerological symbols are reduced to signs. The principal surviving exception is the number 13, which still holds a strange power over Fridays, and over the listing of floors in hotels and high rises.

Biblical literalism, in its treatment of the days of creation, substitutes a modern arithmetical reading for the original symbolic one. Not only does the completion of creation in six days correlate with and support the religious calendar and Sabbath observance (if the Hebrews had had a five-day work week, the account would have read differently), but also the seventh day of rest employs to the full the symbolic meaning of the number seven as wholeness, plenitude, completion.

Mind you, the most interesting part (in my humble opinion) is when it starts talking about the pressing issue for the writers being idolatry and syncretism. If you don't care to read the entire paper, this is the excerpt:

The second thing I'd like to point you to is The "Fall" - A Second Look by Dennis Bratcher

Relevant sample text:

All biblical scholars acknowledge that in these three chapters we have two different accounts of creation (1:1-2:4a, 2:4b-3:24), although there are various views as to how they differ, and why. Most agree that they come from different sources and embody different motifs. They cannot be collapsed into a single account. However, it is a mistake to stress the differences in the two accounts without also acknowledging the close literary and theological affinity between them. The community of faith has placed these two stories together in the canon, so we must hear them together.

We can only give some passing attention to the first creation story, but some observations are necessary in order to understand its relationship to the second account, which is the focus of our study. The first creation account focuses on God as creator. Throughout most of her history, Israel struggled against the prevailing mythically based, polytheistic religions of its Canaanite neighbors. To a people who were used to hearing creation described in terms of the myth of Ba'al, in which the world was created rather accidentally as the result of a battle among the gods, this account is a bold and powerful statement of faith. It declares that God and God alone is Creator.

The first creation account (Gen. 1:1-2:4a) is a direct challenge to the Ba'al myth, using much of the same imagery to express its theology. It is God, not Ba'al who controls the cycles of nature. It is God, not Ba'al, who calms the raging deep and brings order and stability to the world. Creation is deliberate and purposeful, willfully done by God alone. In countering the Ba'al myth in this way, the Israelites portrayed God as doing what was attributed to Ba'al by the Canaanites. Thus creation is described in terms of order and stability. The entire account describes God as setting boundaries and limits on creation. Boundaries are set between light and darkness, between waters above and below, between sea and dry land. There is even emphasis on boundaries between different kinds of animals and plants (each after its kind). These two concepts, seeing the world in terms of either order or chaos and seeing God as the Creator who sustains the world by setting limits and boundaries in His creation, are crucial as background for understanding our story in Genesis 2:4b-3:24, to which we now turn.

This text is more focused on the specifics of the symbolism than the prior link, hence why I view both as useful for this discussion rather than favoring one over the other.

Bebop:
So to start things off i believe in the basic stuff (Jesus and all that jazz) but that's about as far as it goes...

Well then you're pretty much the same as the majority of mainstream Christians.

People such as yourself will have likely never have actually sat down and read the Bible in their entire life and yet will still base their entire worldview around it. Sure they'll be aware of some of the primitive, barbaric, bullshit beliefs it espouses yet instead of just saying "boy that sounds silly" they'll twist it in such a way that it's more comforting for them to believe.

Look at the idiots in this thread trying to contort the values of the Bible so it can fit their 21st century morality. Look at the ones who realize just how fucked up and immoral the values of the Bible are so they try to dismiss it as "oh thats the Old Testament". Have they provided any proof that Jesus was against this primitive behaviour? Have you?

No.

I can suggest otherwise though:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." (Matthew 5:17)

Common Translation: The Old testament still applies. Follow it.

I also notice you're the type of guy who likes to put Jesus up on a pedestal and yap about how much of a nice guy he was. Again, read your damn bible:

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27) Translation: Kill the non-believer!

Jesus Supporting slavery:

"Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them." (1 Timothy 6:1 - 2)

Jesus being a misogynist:

"But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.
(Timothy 2:12 - 15)

Jesus just being an overall dick:

Matthew 15:23. Truth be told, this one will require some context. A Canaanite (non-Jewish) woman has sought out Jesus' help to heal her sick daughter. He says, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." (Translation: I'm only helping the Jews, go away) Her reply, "Lord help me!" To which Jesus, ever so kindly responds:

"It is not right to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." 15:26 (Translation: Wasting his healing powers on this non-Jew would be like wasting the children's food on a dog)

However being the nice guy that he is Jesus finally heals her daughter, however only after she gets on her hands and knees and says "yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." I.e. Ok, I'm a dog spare me some scraps.

Hell even the most famous "Love thy neighbour" only applies if your neighbour is a fellow jew.

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So again OP I urge you, read your goddamn Bible and stop basing your entire worldview on something you know next to nothing about.

Tentacler:
snip

You quote epistles and claim Jesus said it, you pull something widely regarded as a test of faith and act as though Jesus was calling all non-jews dogs (note: when Jesus visits his hometown he basically says that Jews suck and he'd rather teach Pagans... give me a bit and aI'll tack on a quote), and you say that Jesus affirms their interpretations of the Old Testament despite the context of the rest of the gospels where he pretty much says "you're doing it wrong" a million times, suggesting that his fullfilment of the laws does not mean he wants them to keep doing them, but rather a suggestion that they've been doing it wrong the whole time.

Context matters, don't tell someone to read a book you're cherry-picking lines from.

Edit:

Luke 4:16-24:

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up...
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.

23 Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself!' And you will tell me, 'Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'"

24 "Truly I tell you," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[g] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed-only Naaman the Syrian."

Personally, I disagree with a few of the things you're claiming.

That said:

"But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:34-40, KJV

As a Christian myself, I believe that these are really the only two tenets necessary for the Christian faith, and that all other points are, while not irrelevant, certainly of secondary importance.

And as for you being a "bad" Christian:

"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"
Matthew 20:1-15, KJV

(TL;DR: It's a parable where all the servants get the same reward for their work, no matter when they started working, and if you don't like that, suck it up.)

The point in Jesus's words here, IMHO, is that Heaven is promised for all who accept Christ as their savior and repent of their sins, not just a special subset of believers that think, for example, that homosexuality is wrong, or that the sacrament is literally Christ's body and blood (look at me flexin' that ecclesiastical vocab). So no, I don't think you're a "bad" Christian.

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