One of the most famous passages in the Bible is the passage found in
Hebrews 11, which is used by many Christians, especially of the twenty
first century variety to define the word "faith"
The passage which is generally taken out of its historical context reads
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
however one translates it, the suggestion is
that such 'faith' is not 'blind' but that this
'faith' is a belief in what we -do- know
and have experience with.
we cite Abraham as having believed God.
we do not suggest that Abraham simply believed
that such a thing as God existsed, but that
Abraham had a direct relationship with this
God and believed what God transmitted to him.
so, your statements about how 'some' ancient
people viewed the world and universe is entirely
irrelevant to this experience based 'faith' in God.
and any way, even aristarchus showed that the
world was round and even correctly calculated
the distnace from something like alexandria to athens.
that the hebrews believe the world was
flat is purely conjecture on your part.
The passage later continues "Through faith we understand that the worlds
were framed by the words of God, so that things that are seen were not
made of things which do not appear"
and it makes perfect sense with what we
do know about the material universe.
that this material universe has a very
definite beginning and a beginning
from no visible source.
you will not be able to cite any accidental
triggering of this material universe from
no material source and so, the prospect of
a purposed event stands alone as valid.
in other words, modern 'cosmology' -must-
cite an 'unseen' source for all things seen.
As a definition of faith the concepts here are quite obviously defective
and belong to the lack of scientific knowledge of the world of two
thousand years ago, a world in which many people still believed the world
to be a flat disc around which the sun and indeed the entire Cosmos
this is one greek view of the 'cosmos' so, the only
'defect' here is in your attributing this to the bible.
or even implying a connection.
The starry skies were seen as concentric layers with stars that
were quite close to the earth and the Heaven of God a place somewhere on
the outer fringe of those layers. All this was "spoken into existence" by
a lonely God.
in the absence of any possible accidental
triggering mechanism that you can cite,
a purposed event springs as valid, that manner
whereby conscious interference patterns are brought
about which would ignite such a genesis is perfectly
warranted as similar in many ways to speech patterns.
We now know that these concepts are incorrect.
according to your own statement, you know
-nothing- anbout the initiation of genesis
much less that vocal initiation is incorrect.
We know that the universe
is some ten billion years old, that it came into being through processes
yet to be understood that may or may not have required the intervention of
an omnipotent God,
what you may be certian of is that this material
universe has a very definite beginning and from
some source that you know nothing about.
that is, an immaterial source
for a material manifestation.
in the absence of any possible accidental
triggering that you will be able to cite,
a purposed event stands as valid.
and we know that the complex life forms that we know
today , including ourselves came into being through a process of evolution
that took place itself over billions of years from a base of simpler life
you knmow no such thing, this is
pure conjecture on your part.
even people who seriously believe in this do not
suggect that rodents became men in a billion years
but cite a much smaller time frame.
be that as it may, it's not the time
frame that is your major difficulty.
Faith in the terms of Hebrews Chapter 11 and therefore in the form
pressed on us by much of populist Christianity is simply wrong. It is
dysfunctional as a measure of reality
you do not support this properly.
you jump from a statement about 'faith' in hebrews 11
to a mismanged description of the natural world
both past and present, and claim that you can then
conclde that your mismanaged statement invalidates
hebrews 11, which it clearly does not.
hebrews 11 makes 'faith' -experience- based
which we will say that it is.
you claim that because you can -invent- a story
of origins that has no God that you have invalidated
this experiential 'faith' which you clearly have not.
Evolution, unlike religion does not address the question of the origin of
ok, so you will be admitting that life as you
are able to describe it has no clear random
happenstance solution for its appearance.
whether yu admit it or not, it does not
have such a random happenstance appearance.
Evolution as a science analyses the processes whereby complex life
forms evolved from simpler life forms.
show me a mechanism right now that attempts to describe how
biological molecules write themselves into existance,
and then continue altering their forms in response
to environmental stressors that have not yet happened.
It does not seek to answer the
question of the origin of life.
'it' would if it could.
That is a matter it leaves to religion
and to other sciences such as chemistry and Physics.
none of this detracts from the
hebrews 11 description of 'faith'
you are just hand waving.
-if- chemistry and physics had an explanation
for the arrival of life on earh in a random
'evolutionists' would cite that.
-you- do not, because there is no
clear citation to make.
how this lack of evidence on -your- part
should translate in to suome disruption of
the hebrews 11 statement about 'faith' is
not credibly maintained.
One would hardly think so however with the rage directed against
scientific thinking and most especially against the fact of evolution by
modern "Christian" Fundamentalism, conservative traditionalism and
Creationism masquerading in all three cases, without real justification,
as mainstream Christianity.
if there be any 'rage' at all
it would be againts people holding up a clearly
preposturous claim as if it is the unquestionable reality.
-sceintists- should be at odds with this 'god-less myth'
simply because it is fatuous and unfounded.
What is particularly sad is that that this
rage echoes the rage of the sixteenth century papacy against the scientist
Galileo and his fellow academics who had had the audacity to reveal their
findings about the nature of the universe. The Catholic Church long ago
apologised for this error and was long ago forgiven for it..
of note is that Galileo was not arguing against
the christian worldview but against the ptolemaic
greek earth centered universe.
iof you are in a blur as to understand
why and how greek 'science' was being
supported by a politico-church
structure that claimed to be christian,
you should at least look into the aspects of
the roman church that as merely an emperors
wand declaring the old roman empire to be
christian, for political expediancy and
not for religious purposes.
do we fault roman christians?
no, we fault the roman imperial structure that
makes non-christians to be -called- christan
by virtue of imperial edicts.
your contentions are still in shortfall.
Faith is dependent on evidence.
exactly and that is what hebrews 11 states
and so, you -validate- hebrews 11.
hebrews 11 even -calls- this faith an evidence
and a substance and cites abraham as having
been faithful and if you look at genesis, abraham
was in direct communication with this God in whom
hebrews claims he had faith.
We teach our children this when we tell
them to be cautious about strangers,
to be careful about crossing roads,
to be careful near fire or near deep water. We tell them never to cross a
road without first looking in both directions and we tell them to remain
alert as they cross.. We tell them that the assurance that a stranger is
a safe person is not sufficient evidence to place absolute trust in them,
and we show them that fire can hurt and deep water can be dangerous. We
teach them not just through a demand to be obedient to us, but by showing
them the dangers and drawing their attention to examples.
that's nice, i'm glad for you.
how this invalidates hebrews 11
is known only to you.
A similar failure for much of modern Christianity to properly define basic
concepts comes with both the word "truth" and with the word "belief." A
distortion has taken place in defining these terms and that distortion has
now, you're attacking more words.
For example the word "truth" is derived from the German word "Treu" which
means loyalty. But the word truth has long since gained a far more
important meaning. Something is only regarded as a truth if it can be
evidenced in something more than just assertion. In other words claiming
something is true does not magically make it true, evidence is required.
Thus in science an assertion is regarded as a theory , a hypothesis or a
thesis until such time as evidence is provided of its validity. Then and
only then can it begin to be regarded as a truth or a fact, and even then
contrary evidence will reduce its status.
let's say 'Truth' is the way things are,
and 'truth' is the way you see things,
sometimes Truth and truth are worlds apart.
none of ths discrepancy aboyut the nature
of 'Truth' does anything to invalidate
a christian viewpoint.
Christianity has in recent years come to be far too much about an
antiquated concept of "faith". Within its boundaries truth and belief
have become matters of loyalty rather than of knowledge, reason ,
understanding, common sense and rational thought.
you haven't shown that this 'faith' as stated in
hebrews 11 or even the christan concepts of faith
alone is unmodern, antiquated nor invalid.
you try and tie it to your beliefs about
the physical reality and its origins and
say that because -your- 'truth'
is different from some ancient beliefs
that this invalidates 'faith.
it is not an effective statement on your part.
I was born In England into a Christian family in the immediate post war
years. My parents faith survived the war but not without the recognition
that blind faith and misplaced belief and loyalty had been the very
sources of the nightmare they and their continent had experienced. More
than sixty million dead, many millions exterminated in massacres and in
extermination camps and even their own bombed out church had taught them
that the psychic core of Nazism, loyalty based on emotion and prejudice,
and on unevidenced claims was evil
well, maybe you should mention that many americans
and the like who fought agianst nazism were christian.
are you trying to show that chistianity
is equivalent to nazism?
consider the pharissee/saducee wars,
was it wrong for one type of jew
to kill another type of jew?
can you now say that phariseeism is anti-jew?
well, they sought the extermination
of a particular variant of jew,
but they themselves claim to be jews.
how does that work?
Yet only sixty years after that war Christianity seems to be returning to
that stance. The process of conversion has all too often become one of
and this is exactly what hebrews 11 is -not.
so, you invalidate your own thesis.
in a personal realisation identified incorrectly as a
spiritual experience emanating from outside the persons psyche followed by
loyalty to a system of belief to which one pays loyalty on the basis of
this is what you really mean to say,
not that hebrews 11 falsely describes faith
in a manner consistent with the christian ideals,
but that there is not God to have faith in,
and so, no matter what people describe as 'faith'
you claim that no such experience is possible
basd on -your- own personal lack of such an experience
and your intent to describe such experience as false.
"there is no God as outlined by christian ideals
and so, there can be no such thing as 'faith'
as described by those same christian ideals."
what you do not show is that no God as described
by christian ideals -can- exist and therefore,
your thesis should be taken as self evident.
you trick your own self more than you convince anyone else.
Nazism was frighteningly similar in nature. Hitler
was believed because he first created an emotional environment often
called "mass hysteria" and then took advantage of that suggestible
state. To those of us with long memories the rants of cultist pastors
look remarkably similar.
well, i see no hysteria here.
are you trying to incite hysteria?
The extremists of the Fundamentalist fold would have us believe that the
earth was created in six days some six thousand years ago, that men
coexisted with dinosaurs (in one American museum a model dinosaur is even
displayed wearing a saddle) that the events of the first two books of the
Bible were historical events, that the Bible in fact is inerrant in its
historical claims and in fact contains the actual Words of God related by
carefully considered, -you- have
no real reason to say otherwise.
your statements are scattershot
and you may wish to start a further delineation
by carefully defining exaclt what a 'day' represents.
i don't need to say that the earth is 6000 years old
and i don't suggest that the bible or genesis
makes such a demand anyway.
maily you are dealing in straw men of your own devising.
Never to be questioned in their world view in particular are the
statements made in the New Testament. The Gospels are to be regarded as
the indisputable evidence of eye witnesses.
they describe themselves as eyewitness accounts.
your saying, 'no they aren't' is
insufficient to change this fact.
The Book of Revelation is to
be regarded as a prediction of the end of the world and Jesus is to be
regarded as having died for the sins of us all as a sacrifice to appease
the anger, not only of his own father but to another aspect , through
Trinity doctrine, of his own self.
well, now you've drifted further into
your own little world of device.
this statement of yours is not clear.
it sounds like you have an anger
against that which you do not understand.
The fact that large numbers of Christians do not adhere any longer to this
belief system is never revealed to most congregations. How many
Christians especially in the cultist groups realise that Christian
scholars and even Bishops have stood out against this world view? Spong
and Robinson are two obvious examples of such dissent
christians stand up and say that Jesus never lived?
if you say that a thousand times, it
still won't magicaly become the "Truth"
When I pick up my newspaper, whichever paper it may be, I often find
myself confronted by a religious column. All too often I know that what
is said in these columns is simply inaccurate. So I ask myself the
question "If I, as a secular person were writing a "religious column" on
the basis of my childhood and adolescence within the Christian Church and
by knowledge and experience gained since, what truths would I seek to put
before my readers.? What knowledge would I seek to bring to them that the
church of my childhood concealed from me and that it continues to lie
why don't you try and edit your own diatribes first.
The very existence of Jesus of Nazareth is not evidenced in any convincing
fashion outside of the New Testament. References to Jesus at all are
almost completely non existent and also dubious.
well, the talmud suggests that such a person existed
albeit the talmud was written -after- the gospels
and probably written -by- roman philosophers to
placate a very small angry segment of
the jewish community.
There is no convincing evidence that any of the Gospels were written by
eyewitnesses to the events described within them. All of them are
apparently constructed to convey theological ideas relevant to the time
they were written and to the communities they were written in
the gospels claim to be eyewitness accounts.
all you have is 'no they aren't' as your main idea.
do you realize that there is no extant
copy of any work by plato or aristotle
and that the most ancient source on these
is well into the so-called christan era?
do you also suggest that no person named plato existed?
after all, we have no manuscript of this person's.
did Hillel exist?
we don't have any manuscript of his.
in fact, the talmud was compiled well after 200 a.d.
and has so -many- redactions and editions
that it is impossible to decipher
just what constitutes talmudic philosophy
inasmuch as outright contradictions exist
between several of the versions.
The consensus of almost all respected scholars is that no Gospel was
published before around 65AD., 30 years after Jesus¹s supposed execution
and after Paul¹s letters.
and, the watergate informant known as 'deep throat'
was not publicized until nearly 35 years
after the actual events.
no, you have no point.
there is always some time between
compilation and publication.
that and the early christians were subject
to attack and harassment just for being christians.
The Gospels attributed to Matthew and Luke are, like Mark, almost
certainly falsely so attributed and draw from the writers of Mark¹s
version. They do not consist of independent testimony.
this also supports that they are telling the same story.
The Gospel of John is ideological and theological in nature. Any dialogue
attributed to Jesus that only appears in John is almost certainly
fictitious. It is highly unlikely it was written by the disciple John
supposing him to have existed which is itself uncertain.
this sort of "reasoning" would tend to make the talmud
and the works of plato and aristotle fiction,
before they would make the gosples fiction.
you forget that the chistian ideal are -accompanied- -by-
an experiential relaltionsip with the
God who is so identified in its pages.
-you- have no such experience,
fine, speak for yourself.
but your lack of experience does -not-
translate to a positive statement by
you that no such events took place.
Jesus if he lived was executed at the behest of the Romans. The claim
that the Jewish authorities (the Sanhedrin) did not have the right to
sentence him to death is entirely fictitious, The sentence that could
have been imposed by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy was stoning to death.
Jesus was supposedly executed in the manner dictated for a person found
guilty of sedition against the Roman Occupation force. The Jews played no
part in his sentencing and execution. The Gospels lie on this point,
failing especially to point out that King Herod and the High Priest were
appointed and supported by the Romans
you have no idea -what- the sanhedrin was able to do
inasmuch as the talmud was compiled -after- the
known dates for the gospels.
the sanhedrin was under roman occupation, this is true.
and the romans were not at all indiscriminate
about what they would allow the indigenous
populations to carry out, and capital
executions are just such events that
would require roman oversight.
No complete Gospel text predates the Fourth Century. We do not know the
original wording and content of the originals. The Christmas story
including the claim as to Jesuses Virgin Birth especially seems to be a
later addition to the original text
no text of the talmud predates the claims of the gospels
they all come -after- the gospels.
-and- the year '0' A.D. did not even exist
until about the 15 century A.D.
meaning that '0' A.D. was -invented- well
-after- the inception of the gospels.
tell me if you will, why this
should be considered important.
No fragment of any Gospel exists that has been reasonably dated before
around 135AD, the earliest being the Ryland fragment which contains
fragments of a few verses of John. The dating remains contraversial in
that the fragment appears to be part of a codex(book) supposedly dating
from a time when scrolls would have been more normal. The Gospel are in
fact not even quoted or acknowledged to exist in contemporary documents
dated before the second half of the second century. The evidence to their
being written in present form before 150 AD is almost completely absent
most of the talmud was written down in the late fifteenth century.
the talmud didn't even exist as literature during the time of Christ.
The belief that Jesus died for our sins is part of a parcel of theology
referred to as Atonement or substitution theology. It is refuted by many
modern Christians and is no longer a fully accepted doctrine outside of
Catholicism and evangelicaland Birn Again cults
Jesus' atoning death like that of the
passover and day of atonement is central
to christian ideals.
that you consider this to be defunct
in christian circles is far from the Truth.
A substantial body of scholarship attributes the majority of Christian
theology and even the biographical details of Jesus¹s life and
resurrection to the reformed former persecutor of the followers of Jesus,
Paul of Tarsus.
The true origins of the religion we may know as Christianity may well have
been in the area known as Asia Minor (Turkey)
no, it set out in Jerusalem.
amd basically predates the Sinai covenant
inasmuch as Abraham Isaac and Jacob were
smeared with the annointing of YHWH.
The religion of Paul and the Judaic religion followed by the earliest
followers of Jesus may well have had very little in common. In particular
the events of the Last supper including the Eucharist may well be
inventions made to justify Pauls teachings and have no basis in truth.
well, you aren't supporting your statements on 'faith'
which seemed to be your intent.
now you are just rambling.
A substantial body of scholarship sees Pauls claims of revelation to be
pure invention at best and fraud at worst intended to justify his claim of
and this scholarsip which takes place
2000 years after the fact should be considered
much more reliable than the statements made in
a comtemporary manner, according to you?
where we see Peter making mention
of Paul on very friendly terms.
2 Peter xx:xx.
Sylvanus was a steno.
The Bible contains no predictions reasonably attributed to Jesus. The New
Testament can be reasonably regarded as being deliberately written to
create this false impression. There are no genuine predictions of future
you'll have to specify what you mean here.
What does all this mean for the modern world even for your own suburb. I
believe it means that it is time for religion to "get honest" to stop
relying on unprovable assertions and threats that a soul unable to be
obedient to the nonsensical command to "choose to believe" is condemned to
no, to those who have the experience with God thru Christ,
the very thing that you do not ruin, "faith"
is the provable attribute which we all walk after.
not a 'blind belief' in that which we do not know,
but a very real experience with the God who supports them.
It is time we stopped scaring our children and instead sought to recover
from our own religious trauma and from those who once spiritually abused
be more specific.
Remember the strangers we taught our children to be careful of and not to
trust. We now know that levels of sexual abuse from church members and
priests in the past were so high that much of the trust in them in the
past was misplaced. But sexual abuse and physical abuse were not the only
personal crimes committed, spiritual and educational abuse were even more
one thing you can be sure of is that -you- believe that there are
things in this world which are -wrong- no matter who does them.
-you- do -not- say;
"well everything is ok it just depends on
the situation and who is doing them"
no, you say;
There are thingsin this world that
are -wrong- no matter who does them.
i agree with you here.
some things are -wrong-
and not just a matter of personal viewpoint.
Fundamentalism, Creationism, traditionalism, and much of Born Again
evangelism are remnants of misplaced trust. For Christianity to move
forward perhaps even to survive it needs to denounce more than just its
occasional sexual abuses. What it needs is radical reform based on a
willingness to honestly confront its own past and the dubious nature of
its origins. It needs to recognise that the Bible is a collection of very
human documents inspired only by ideas and not by some direct line to the
Holy Spirit. It needs, quite simply, to respect its own demands for
honesty and integrity and to recognise that applying even its own moral
standards it frequently fails
christianity has seen worse foes than
you and will likely see them again.
in fact, your scattersot approach is so poor,
that it only goes to show you as a poor scholar
and so, why should anyone lend credence to the
offhand statements made by such a lax
individual as yourself?
In conclusion to those who would say "Oh but Jesus said we must accept as
a child if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and that is what I do" I
would say "then listen to the words of my six year old son many years ago"
One day he told me "Dad I know what the Bible is" Knowing how many have
pondered these questions all their adult lives I was rather amused and
said "Well go on , tell me"
He replied with the very childhood simplicity we are told to exalt as an
example to ourselves as the right attitude to the Scriptures and to God,
"It¹s a book of laws with legends in it"
your child is parroting -your- sentiment.
you have tainted yur own child.
is this abusive?
or maybe in your mind you are simply handing
down the tradition inasmuch as it is obvious
that -you- have been -taught- to hate and
How right in this instance both he thirteen years ago and Jesus two
thousand years ago were. The child has spoken
your child is parrotting -you-.
still no 'childlike' statement.
It is indeed "a book of laws with legends in it," ancient laws and ancient
legends. It is nothing less and truly nothing more.
this is what -you- instilled in your child.
That which you BELIEVE that is within it, and that which you REJECT will
not decide how you spend eternity and the nature of the most important
matters in life
Matters of love and compassion of sharing and caring are not dependent on it.
unless and if the only Being who truly
knows what Love and sharing and caring -is-
is the God who does not live to
selfishly tend to God's own needs
-first-, and that this God may be drawn closer to
by some examination of these scriptures.
For these you must search within yourself as a functioning and reasoning
being. And having found them we need to learn to live and work together,
whatever ancient or modern beliefs we ascribe to. All of us at times fall
short of our responsibilities to each other. No religion cleanses us from
the effects of our errors and no-one really has the right to forgive a man
except his human victim.
so, you claim that mankind has errors which must be cleansed.
you don't say that mankind is ok just the way it is.
christians seem to suggest that God is the only
realiable Being who could execute such a cleaning
inasmuch as God is not sullied by any such uncleaness.
Maybe we could start by at least recognising that..
i recognize plenty.
you don't really support much of what yoyu state,
you simply toss a lot of accusations around as if
your believing them make them self evident to everyone else.