Troublesome Scripture passages
#1
(10-23-2015, 07:39 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Download the file attached to this post to read "Gutting the Gospels" -- how the entire lectionary was purged of "troublesome" Scripture. Madness!

Does anyone wonder about the troublesome passages?  Like, if they're being cut from the lectionary to not offend people, it's obvious that there must be a significant number of people who find these passages troublesome.  It wouldn't be getting cut if only one or two wingnuts found it offensive.  The morality of the Bible is in places in direct conflict with the morality of today.  That doesn't necessarily mean anything more than our morality today is degenerate, but then when you actually look at the passages in question, to say that is to say that, oftentimes, being merciful is degenerate but stoning someone to death for talking back to their parents or any of the other punishments that even Christians would consider revolting and barbaric in any other instance except the instances in the Bible that they defend....does anyone really stop to think about this and what it means about the character of God and just what kind of being he is?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how all life on earth depends on the death of another living thing in order to survive.  Life requires death.  And this is across the board.  It can't be a result of original sin, because carnivorous animals were designed with teeth that were meant to tear flesh apart.  And their prey are advanced enough that they feel pain and fear.  Prior to any sin, God specifically designed life to die in torment.  Maybe it isn't a big deal, but really, what does that tell us about God?
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#2
(10-23-2015, 08:58 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(10-23-2015, 07:39 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Download the file attached to this post to read "Gutting the Gospels" -- how the entire lectionary was purged of "troublesome" Scripture. Madness!

Does anyone wonder about the troublesome passages?  Like, if they're being cut from the lectionary to not offend people, it's obvious that there must be a significant number of people who find these passages troublesome.  It wouldn't be getting cut if only one or two wingnuts found it offensive.  The morality of the Bible is in places in direct conflict with the morality of today.  That doesn't necessarily mean anything more than our morality today is degenerate, but then when you actually look at the passages in question, to say that is to say that, oftentimes, being merciful is degenerate but stoning someone to death for talking back to their parents or any of the other punishments that even Christians would consider revolting and barbaric in any other instance except the instances in the Bible that they defend....does anyone really stop to think about this and what it means about the character of God and just what kind of being he is?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how all life on earth depends on the death of another living thing in order to survive.  Life requires death.  And this is across the board.  It can't be a result of original sin, because carnivorous animals were designed with teeth that were meant to tear flesh apart.  And their prey are advanced enough that they feel pain and fear.  Prior to any sin, God specifically designed life to die in torment.  Maybe it isn't a big deal, but really, what does that tell us about God?

First, for people who didn't get the download I attached to the post you quoted, I attach it to this post as well.

Second, God didn't design (at least human) life to die in torment. Death is an evil that entered the world after the Fall. How things went before that, I can't say (with regard, say, to modern carnivores and the animal world), but human death was not positively willed by God. See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm on "Original Sin."

I'm not sure what punishments you're referring to in your post, but nowhere in the New Testament is stoning for talking back to one's parents condoned or anything.

I disagree with you that Scripture wouldn't be cut if it were only a few people wanting them cut. We got homosexual "marriage" and unlimited immigration into the West because of a handful of ideologues. Happens all the time in History.


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#3
Just an aside, I suppose, and I don't mean to open a can of worms here, but I don't think that "homosexual marriage" and "unlimited immigration" are morally equivalent, in reality, nor made to be equivalent in Scripture. Indeed, 'unlimited immigration' happens all the time in history without ideologues. It is I suppose harsh when you see it happening to your own neighbourhood, but in reality, the large scale movement of peoples across the planet very often helps the spread of the Gospel, unlike, for instance "homosexual marriage."

I don't think the Indians of Latin America appreciated the "unlimited immigration" of the Spaniards, but thank God for the Spanish immigrants! The Germanic tribes that eventually brought about the fall of Rome also, in a way, were largely responsible for the Frankish element of the Middle Ages. In my view, this element was a most positive thing. Indeed, they gave us Charlemagne.

Anyway, sorry for moving away from the topic, Melkite. I suppose that for me, the answer is not so much what these things in Scripture tell us about God, but more about what they tell us about us human beings and about Scripture itself. These things are mysteries. But every age has its own sort of authority established by God to oversee our interpretation of these words of Scripture. All we can do is question our own.  I would hesitate to draw very definitive conclusions concerning the 'personality' of God using a few lines of Scripture outside of context. Perhaps the Fathers of the Church have commented on these things. I would be surprised if they had not. I would check there first.
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#4
(10-23-2015, 09:49 PM)maldon Wrote: Just an aside, I suppose, and I don't mean to open a can of worms here, but I don't think that "homosexual marriage" and "unlimited immigration" are morally equivalent, in reality, nor made to be equivalent in Scripture.

I don't think they're morally equivalent either. I was only making the point that we get things we don't want because of the actions of a small handful of people.

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#5
(10-23-2015, 09:15 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Second, God didn't design (at least human) life to die in torment. Death is an evil that entered the world after the Fall. How things went before that, I can't say (with regard, say, to modern carnivores and the animal world), but human death was not positively willed by God. See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm on "Original Sin."

I know he didn't design human life to die in torment, I was thinking higher animal life.  My thinking was, even before the fall, we know there were carnivores (or God has been putting lies in the ground to confuse us), so physical death, at least, in general, is natural and "good."  It was part of the created order before the first sin (unless that sin was retroactive with physical power, but I don't see that suggested anywhere in Scripture or Tradition, and it seems a bit of a grasp at straws anyway).  So God would have had to create all these animals with developed nervous systems that were capable of feeling pain and fear as they were dying in the jaws of its predator in order to sustain life as a whole.  God could have created them in a way that they would not have felt any pain or fear.  God could have created them in a way that they would feel, presumably, intense pain and fear, and possibly even despair.  He chose the latter.  Why?  And the brick wall I inevitably hit when the questions start getting too hard (not to you personally) is "We have no right to question God."  So, he created us with inquisitive minds, but we were never supposed to use them on Him?

Quote:I'm not sure what punishments you're referring to in your post, but nowhere in the New Testament is stoning for talking back to one's parents condoned or anything.

I'm thinking of the Old Testament punishments.  Even though we don't have them in the New Testament, Jesus is Yahweh and Yahweh is Jesus.  Why did Jesus originally approve of such awful, barbaric punishments?  I've wondered if they were necessary because of how uncivilized life was at the time, but comparatively, the 1st century Near East was no less barbaric than the Bronze Age Near East was, compared to us today - even Hellenic Paganism was barbaric relative to us - so if such barbaric practices were not necessary in the time of Christ, why were they necessary in the time of Abraham or Moses or Josiah?

Quote:I disagree with you that Scripture wouldn't be cut if it were only a few people wanting them cut. We got homosexual "marriage" and unlimited immigration into the West because of a handful of ideologues. Happens all the time in History.

But we didn't get them until the general public opinion had turned in their favor.  If it were only homosexuals that approved of homosexual marriage, and the general population was still unsupportive of "gay rights," gay men would still be getting beaten to death in rural areas to the loud approval of fundamentalist Protestant and Catholic groups, and the "carry on if you must" and turned blind eye of the moderates.
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