• when it hapend

    May 2014
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  • My Blog

    this is going to be my new blogsite for regular rants of mine.

    This hopefully will supplement my webpages.

    please, if you comment stay on subject. I am interested in feedback, especially real thoughtful feedback. if you don't agree with what i believe that's fine too, but argue about why you believe differently, if that's appropriate.

    and of course, this is for fun interest and for something to think about, not to offend anyone's ideas or beliefs.

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Ethics in Christianity

For many years I have looked into different aspects of morality and ethics in the Bible. The hardest discrepancy to resolve with Bible scholars is the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament has a lot more violent and intolerant behavior than the New Testament. We do not understand the reasoning of God and never can. Sadly, I think the initial reason I started trying to research this topic was because this is one of the new arguments Atheists and Agnostics have used to discredit the Bible and the Christian religion. Here, is one of those typical arguments on YouTube; (I will tell you in advance, these two have attitudes that are hard to deal with on a certain level, but what they say has a certain amount of merit.)

A rudimentary background of Christian ethics informs us that their ethics of the New Testament is based on the Old Testament. This paper also mentions how the Christian religion has to treat ethics differently because Christian morality is tied to Christian ethics. This page, oddly, says almost exactly the same thing. Which, means these guys can argue the morality, and therefore ethics, they say are lacking in God.

Tolerance is considered a bad word in the Church because Christians are not supposed to tolerate people who sin, or go against the word of God, (which is odd anyway because Christians are not supposed to judge others.) Christians are supposed to Evangelise to sinners, which to me always meant, invade someone’s privacy and private space and talk to them about things that are really personal, without knowing more than their name, before they know the slightest thing about your religion as soon as they walk in the doors of the church. Which, to me, contradicted church doctrine. Typically, my family would begin going to a new church, and as soon as we walked in the door, some members of the church would see we were new, and would make it their duty to evangelise to us, and try to make us go up to the front of the church. By this action, they were judging all of us teens in the family to be non-christians and in need of saving and accepting Christ into our lives. By the time I was 11 years old, myself and my younger 3 siblings had become Christians, so when these evil church people judged us to be non-christians, it really showed us what kind of people they were. Being a liberal myself, this showed me they were sheep who followed without thinking. In trying to evangelise to us they were showing Pride, Gluttony, and Greed, 3 of the 7 deadly sins! As soon as I heard their spiel start I would feel sorry for them and sorry for myself. How could church people act so immoral? Because it is the church doctrine that tells them they should act this way.

Sadly though, the Bible contains the three ‘isms’ that modern society hates, slavery, sexism and racism. I think these are really throwbacks to what the world was like in those days when the Bible was written. In the past one thing that really troubled me was that the slavery in the Bible was considered a bad thing if it was one of the favored tribes, like Moses’, but acceptable if it was one of the other tribes or individuals that were enslaved, which to me just is another way of God advocating racism.

The traditional Ten Commandments are what most people think of when they think of the morality of the Bible, but they have been slandered by God himself. Not only that, they aren’t the real “Ten Commandments” as delivered by God to Moses on the Stone Tablets from Mt. SinaiGod advocates killing, rape, murder, slavery, and many other things in the Bible, and usually advocates them to be used by his people only, because they are his followers.

………………..       …………………..   ……………….      …………………   …………………

A Genocidal God?

The other reason I really wanted to ask all these questions, is because something else I came across really started bothering me. We were always taught in the Church to fear God. If you do bad you may be turned into pillars of salt, like those in Sodom and Gomorra. And if you think your sin isn’t as bad as theirs was, all you have to do is read the passage:

“Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).  

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.” (John 13:31-35)

It came to me in spurts luckily or it probably would have sent me into shock. First, I read about Abraham, and his family moving back and forth across the dessert. I laughed at all the incest, which back then, was acceptable, because Abraham was told by God that his family was not to marry outside of his race, they were the only ones who were sanctified. I blocked some of it out, I hate the racism, ethnicity-ism, and the toleration of racism, it’s just a sad part of our history.

But then I switched over to Moses and started reading about the plagues and the exodus. I sort of got to the end, I wanted to read the vernacular of how they described the parting of the Red Sea, because I’m a word nerd. I got to that part and the wording  for the people who came after Moses to the Red Sea was all inclusive:

(Exodus 14: 17-18 ) “ 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

Then I went back to the telling of the plague, and read the previous verses about the first-born plague:

(Exodus 13: 13) “13 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”

So now I’m thinking, “Did God kill all the Egyptians?” He killed the adults, elderly, children and babies who were firstborn, then in the Red Sea all the horsemen and soldiers, and all the rulers of Egypt. He also killed all the baby firstborn animals, too. With animals that you kill for meat, they are a seasonal stock, so killing all the firstborn would mean that one season they would have no meat, no livestock. The hundreds of thousands of slaves in Egypt at that time were not “Egyptians” they were foreigners. Anyone who was Egyptian at that time were guards or rulers.

I went back further and re-read about the plagues and the last plague was locusts which ate up all the plants. So, now there is no meat for one season and nothing green on the land:

(Exodus 10: 15)  “1They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt.”

So, I have read the whole Bible a couple of times, though, so I wondered, how could I have missed this? So, I thought he didn’t kill them all, God doesn’t kill whole races of people. But then, I remembered that he does. I forgot somehow about Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites, the tribe of Benjamin, Noah and the Flood, and other acts of genocide. [More][2nd Part of More]

One person commented, “you just said that the flood was punishment for people being evil… is that not god killing sinners? why use the flood? he could have just let them die naturally and then punish them by sending them to hell,” and I really still don’t even know how I would respond. God doesn’t follow his “Ten Words.”

I remembered what I was taught in Sunday school, we can not judge the acts of God because his reasoning is beyond what we can understand. God is just, not necessarily moral. God is to be feared.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge….The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Prov. 1.7, 9.10).

I never believed my God was a moral God. I learned in Sunday School that God does what he wants and by his reasoning it is moral. God is Good; By that we mean that what God does, is by definition Good. If I think about killing someone, God says that is murder, and technically that is bad. God may show his grace and I can go to Heaven. If, However, God tells me to kill someone, then that murder is considered killing, and killing is justified/lawful. This is the reasoning some people use to explain why American soldiers aren’t going to Hell? Hopefully, their reasoning has merit in God’s eyes.

So, in conclusion, Racism, Sexism, and Slavery, are OK by God. Murder is wrong, but killing is lawful, and genocide is OK if sanctioned by God.

….. Some people believe they have higher morals and ethics than God….

I say all this in a way that is meant to be pernicious, facetious, and maybe satirical at the same time, yet serious. This is a popular argument among Atheists, and Agnostics, and Church going people. Many people are saying they would never go to a church where the congregation worships a God who kills discriminately, hates whole races of people, does not believe that women are equal, advocates sacrificing animals and kids, commits genocide. One guy posted online, “Here’s a good source for who gets stoned to death.”

The Christian Church says in reality, God is Good, he can not do anything immoral, because his doing it means that it is Good. You make think it is immoral or unethical or that God is a hypocrite, but you would be wrong in your assumption. And it specifically says in the Bible that God is an angry God, who if you follow him and worship him will give you everything you need and will help you get rid of your enemies:

13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.”

So, in the end, God’s has strong morals because by definition, anything God does is Good. Ethics is defined as: moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.” God has good ethics because God created the morals and ethics that he follows. Man on the other hand has different ethics than God in most cases, so if he/she/you/me follow those ethics than we are ethically good people. If we do what God has done than we would be considered immoral and unethical, because the group that we belong to would consider them unethical.