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If God made us, why did he make us so stupid?

 
MrRon
 
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01 May 2019 06:30
 
TwoSeven1 - 30 April 2019 04:24 PM

“... again I would ask you, do you consider it moral that God allowed the Israelites to enslave others from ‘pagan’ communities for life?”  I don’t consider it immoral of God to allow the Israelites to have slaves like he did, especially since laws were established as protections.  See Deuteronomy 23:15-16.  These verses show that God made a way for slaves to be protected if they escaped from harsh slave owners.

1 Peter 2:18 says:
“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”

So, in general, you’re OK with a system (regardless of the time or place) that allows some humans to own other humans (and their offspring) as their own personal property?? If God was so concerned about protections for slaves, why didn’t he just condemn the practice of slavery? Wouldn’t that be the ULTIMATE protection for them?

“But remember, an Israelite is still allowed to beat a slave to his death - provided the death occurs more than a ‘day or two’ after the beating. Again, do you consider this moral?”  If you are correct, what logical purpose would the law serve?  I don’t believe that you are drawing the correct meaning from the verses.

Slave owners weren’t prevented from striking their slaves as punishment for wrong doing, but with the context, the verses in Exodus were protections for slave owners.

What then, is the “correct” meaning”? And where does it mention anything about “wrongdoing” in this passage?:

“When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”

And why is your god more concerned about protections for the slave owners than the actual slaves themselves?

The laws allowed slave owners to strike slaves, but the laws also prevented them from causing permanent damage or killing the slaves.  If a slave was struck as punishment for something with no permanent damage done, but for some reason that slave died later on, the slave owner was in the clear.  One or two days seems reasonable as a timeframe for this.

What’s “reasonable” about killing someone (and then being in the clear after a couple days)??? What do you mean “if no permanent damage was done”? Isn’t the slaves death a couple days later the permanent damage? 

Food for thought:  The American military used to strike soldiers in training, but they had constraints.

Even if the military could still strike soldiers, this is a false equivalence. The military is not a system of slavery. Military personnel (the vast majority having voluntarily entered service) are being prepared for the specific purpose of combat. As such, they are being acclimated to the stresses and challenges of war. That’s a world of difference from the human chattel (men, women, and children) depicted in the Bible. It’s also interesting that even the military now recognizes that beating their trainees is neither morally acceptable nor effective. 

Ron

[ Edited: 01 May 2019 06:34 by MrRon]
 
EN
 
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01 May 2019 07:11
 

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system. 

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue. 

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

[ Edited: 01 May 2019 07:15 by EN]
 
GAD
 
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01 May 2019 07:22
 
EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system. 

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue. 

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

If what is moral and justified is decided by god then slavery was both moral and justified by god, unless you believe men really wrote the bible.

 

 
 
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01 May 2019 08:55
 
EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

A few comments, eh? You’ve drawn on nearly every Christian apologetic for slavery, weak as they are, but knock yourself out. None can explain why an all knowing, all loving god would not abolish the most heinously immoral thing one human can do to another, short of taking another’s life which is also within the ‘perfectly moral and objective’ law of this ‘god’.

The apologetics also fall under their own weight of conflicts and inconsistencies with other biblical dogma.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

This is bullshit christian apologetic #1 regarding slavery and most Christians know this one and can disgorge it on command.  Conflicts abound with the immutability of god, the concept of the trinity, and jesus’s support of jewish law.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system.

Correct. Which begs the question…why would an all knowing, all loving god not condemn it? The logical answer is jesus was simply a man of his time who could not imagine a world without slavery.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue.

If Jesus was who he said he was, he would have dealt with it from an all knowing deities perspective. He did not.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

Bullshit apologetics. Christianity did not exist yet, only Judaism.The books of the gospel were not written until decades after Jesus’s death, and Jesus may not have even said those things. Some scriptures that did not end up in the NT via the council of nicea in 325AD, do not treat Jesus as a deity. Further, the gospels that did end up in the NT cannot be validated as to the actual authors and were likely forgeries not written by Jesus’s disciples.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

A less well known but weak-ass insignificant apologetic. Perhaps Paul had taken a special liking to Philemon. Paul could have easily denounced slavery in any of his letters. He did not.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

 

A particularly dishonest apologetic. The ‘all-knowing’ jesus’s omission of the condemnation of slavery resulted in ungodly human suffering because a theological defensible reading of the Bible does not forbid slavery. Northern abolitionists and MLK just happened to be Christian like 90% plus of the US population at the time. Their advocacy with respect to the condemnation of slavery and discrimination of blacks as 2nd class humans was more about their character as human beings than anything else.

 
MrRon
 
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01 May 2019 08:57
 
EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system. 

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue. 

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

EN, do you believe that Jesus was (is) God?

Also, aren’t you just cherry picking when you say that the OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian? What about the 10 commandments? Aren’t many Christians on board with those? And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

Ron

 
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01 May 2019 09:25
 
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

EN, do you believe that Jesus was (is) God?

Also, aren’t you just cherry picking when you say that the OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian? What about the 10 commandments? Aren’t many Christians on board with those? And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

Ron

IMO, Jesus was the embodiment of the Logos, the underlying principle of all reality, which is equal with God.  So, yes.

What you call cherry-picking, I simply call my understanding of the development of Christian theology.  I don’t care what other Christians think.  What Jesus revealed as the will of God is what I’m going with. The law of love makes the OT irrelevant, except for historical context and background, and makes the regulations of the Torah obsolete.  It was the Jewish understanding of God, which I believe was colored by their prejudices and their historical context.  The Bible itself is not the “Word of God”.  It is the story of a particular community’s experience with God.  The standard is Jesus himself and his teachings.  This is my position, and the fact that it is a distinct minority position among Christians is of no consequence to me.

 
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01 May 2019 09:53
 
EN - 01 May 2019 09:25 AM
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

EN, do you believe that Jesus was (is) God?

Also, aren’t you just cherry picking when you say that the OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian? What about the 10 commandments? Aren’t many Christians on board with those? And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

Ron

IMO, Jesus was the embodiment of the Logos, the underlying principle of all reality, which is equal with God.  So, yes.

What you call cherry-picking, I simply call my understanding of the development of Christian theology.  I don’t care what other Christians think.  What Jesus revealed as the will of God is what I’m going with. The law of love makes the OT irrelevant, except for historical context and background, and makes the regulations of the Torah obsolete.  It was the Jewish understanding of God, which I believe was colored by their prejudices and their historical context.  The Bible itself is not the “Word of God”.  It is the story of a particular community’s experience with God.  The standard is Jesus himself and his teachings.  This is my position, and the fact that it is a distinct minority position among Christians is of no consequence to me.

OK, so Jesus IS God. What do you mean by “the law of love”? Where are you getting that from?

Do you believe that God commanded “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh”?

Ron

 
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01 May 2019 09:53
 
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

...
... And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

To my knowledge, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality and I previously thought there weren’t any such references in the New Testament.  However, Paul seemed to have something to say about it.

Romans 1: 27
1 Timothy 1: 10

However, the language used (and therefore clarity) varies depending on bible version, e.g. King James Version vs. Revised Standard Version
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions/

When I was a Christian, I thought of the gospels as scripture and Paul’s letters as ‘extras’; as someone who never met Jesus, I thought he could be somewhat ‘bossy’ in his instructions to other Christians.

 

 
 
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01 May 2019 10:03
 
EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

This is a weak argument.  Hindsight tells us that the omnibenevolent god was pretty myopic on certain issues, and that modern christians have been known to choose their own priority for different issues contained within the OT.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system.

An omnibenevolent god could have mentioned it’s relative displeasure at the practice…  Could have exceeded the zeitgeist of the time to clear up any future confusion…

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue.

I disagree, as displayed above.  There are other ways the issue could have been dealt with.  Ways that could have lifted the well-being of many generations over the past several thousand years.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

Explicitness seems to be lacking.  Or room for personal interpretation - which seems to be happening.
Seems like a weak point in the mythology to me.  Since many believers fall into the authoritarian category, it would make sense for an omnibenevolent being to help them out with explicit instructions like those contained in the commandments.

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

Again I refer to explicitness.  Why did jesus not simply say - free him and make him your brother (sister) etc…?

EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

That lack of explicitness allowed for many generations of slaves - including those in the US South as the bible was long used as an argument ‘for’ slavery in the south.  “Blacks possessed of the curse of Ham” etc…  With explicit instructions from an omnibenevolent being, that whole episode of history might have been very different, and included a lot less suffering and hardship for people.

I harp on this omnibenevolence and the relative underachievement found in the bible, because to me this demonstrates that the bible was written by people who were firmly grounded in the zeitgeit of their time. An omni-being would not necessarily be so grounded, and might be able to offer insights from outside that zeitgeist - but never really did.

Jesus was written to have healed a leper, instead of ending leprosy.  (an omni-being could have done the later…)
Our modern education and understanding of the world allows us to ponder these types of questions, whereas bronze age author/residents couldn’t imagine a world without…

 
 
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01 May 2019 10:06
 
Jan_CAN - 01 May 2019 09:53 AM
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

...
... And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

To my knowledge, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality and I previously thought there weren’t any such references in the New Testament.  However, Paul seemed to have something to say about it.

Romans 1: 27
1 Timothy 1: 10

However, the language used (and therefore clarity) varies depending on bible version, e.g. King James Version vs. Revised Standard Version
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions/

When I was a Christian, I thought of the gospels as scripture and Paul’s letters as ‘extras’; as someone who never met Jesus, I thought he could be somewhat ‘bossy’ in his instructions to other Christians.

The authors could have been a militant homophobes and allowed that to leak into their writings.

 
 
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01 May 2019 11:07
 
EN - 01 May 2019 07:11 AM

Against my better judgment, I’m going to make a few comments about the slavery issue.

1. The Old Testament provisions about slavery should have nothing to do with a Christian’s view of the issue.  The OT laws and regulations have no relevance to a Christian.  They were part of Israel’s understanding of God’s will, and were never intended to be binding on Christians.  Furthermore, Jesus’ New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant (Testament), so the OT laws are without force and effect for a believer.

2. In the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul mentioned slavery.  Neither specifically condemned it, but neither specifically endorsed it, either.  They simply dealt with it as a fact in life at that time and discussed how to live within the current system. 

3. Slavery is immoral and cannot be justified.  So the issue with respect to Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings was how to deal with the issue. 

4. IMO, Jesus dealt with it by example and by his New Commandment - “love one another as I have loved you”.  Jesus owned no slaves, and told his disciples that they should treat each other as brothers - equally.  The New Commandment, if followed by any Christian, would make slavery impossible for that person.

5. IMO, Paul dealt with it in the little epistle of Philemon.  In that letter, he spoke to Philemon about a slave named Onesimus, and encouraged Philemon to treat him like a brother, which meant, effectively, that he should give the slave his freedom.

6. What would have been the effect had Jesus or Paul simply condemned slavery?  They could have done this, but their primary focus was on beginning the new community known as “the church”, not on setting out dictates for the whole world to follow.  They focused on the morality of the believing community, and the law of love within that community, if followed, would prevent slavery.  You can criticize their approach, but Jesus’ teaching influenced both the Abolitionist movement and MLK’s preaching.  Neither Jesus nor Paul were in a position to dictate the world’s morality, and they never intended for the church to impose its morality by law on anyone else.

Nicely done, Bruce. Your argument is successful if you concede to the philosophical allure of atheism, or if not that, at least declare a divorce between the Old and New Testaments. You’re an unorthodox Christian. Would you perhaps reconsider writing a book about your views? Might that be something to work on once you’ve retired?

If you see Dennis, by the way, please say hello.

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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01 May 2019 11:09
 
Jefe - 01 May 2019 10:06 AM
Jan_CAN - 01 May 2019 09:53 AM
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

...
... And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

To my knowledge, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality and I previously thought there weren’t any such references in the New Testament.  However, Paul seemed to have something to say about it.

Romans 1: 27
1 Timothy 1: 10

However, the language used (and therefore clarity) varies depending on bible version, e.g. King James Version vs. Revised Standard Version
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions/

When I was a Christian, I thought of the gospels as scripture and Paul’s letters as ‘extras’; as someone who never met Jesus, I thought he could be somewhat ‘bossy’ in his instructions to other Christians.

The authors could have been a militant homophobes and allowed that to leak into their writings.

No one had a clue what caused disease let alone would know that homosexual behavior is common in many species of primates, in addition to humans as well as in numerous other animal species. And even if they had, dogmatic beliefs would have trumped any knowledge of the natural world.

Regarding Paul, he was the ‘dude’ who softened Jesus’s pronouncements on salvation and whose teachings are the focus of many modern day progressive churches. I once attended a non-denominational church in California that should have labelled their theology Paulinity instead of Christianity.

 
Jefe
 
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01 May 2019 11:16
 
proximacentauri - 01 May 2019 11:09 AM
Jefe - 01 May 2019 10:06 AM
Jan_CAN - 01 May 2019 09:53 AM
MrRon - 01 May 2019 08:57 AM

...
... And aren’t many Christians opposed to homosexuality purely because the OT says it’s an abomination?

To my knowledge, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality and I previously thought there weren’t any such references in the New Testament.  However, Paul seemed to have something to say about it.

Romans 1: 27
1 Timothy 1: 10

However, the language used (and therefore clarity) varies depending on bible version, e.g. King James Version vs. Revised Standard Version
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions/

When I was a Christian, I thought of the gospels as scripture and Paul’s letters as ‘extras’; as someone who never met Jesus, I thought he could be somewhat ‘bossy’ in his instructions to other Christians.

The authors could have been a militant homophobes and allowed that to leak into their writings.

No one had a clue what caused disease let alone would know that homosexual behavior is common in many species of primates, in addition to humans as well as in numerous other animal species. And even if they had, dogmatic beliefs would have trumped any knowledge of the natural world.

Regarding Paul, he was the ‘dude’ who softened Jesus’s pronouncements on salvation and whose teachings are the focus of many modern day progressive churches. I once attended a non-denominational church in California that should have labelled their theology Paulinity instead of Christianity.

/nod
I am aware of the focus on paul’s “writings”. 
I also refer to the authors of the old testament…who would have been fairly traditional(?) and probably were quite indoctrinated in jewish and roman patriarchal ‘rights’ and laws.

 
 
EN
 
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01 May 2019 11:50
 

I’ll keep my comments general, as it is exhausting to reply individually to everyone’s questions.  Issues about “whether God should have done this” or “whether Jesus should have done that” must all be considered in the context of what God’s ultimate purpose for this universe and humanity is.  Of course, I am no more an authority about this than anyone else in the world or history.  That being said, I can see what Jesus taught and did.  He did not solve all the problems in the world or in the future.  He did deal with issues that were brought to him (individual lepers, for example).  What I gather from his example is that he was planting a seed (his words, his example, his new community - the church), and giving it what it needed to grow.  Then, he left, and the problems of the world are ours to deal with, just as he did.  What can I gather from that?  That he is more interested, for this current time, in the process and development of individuals as they learn to deal with issues than he is with eliminating all problems.  He also taught that in the next age he would “wipe away all tears”, even while promising that “in this world you will have tribulation.”  So while I can see that he did not solve all the problems of the world 2000 years ago, he did leave us with the law of love (the New Commandment - love one another as I have loved you), and gave us individual examples of what to do - heal the sick, feed the hungry, comfort the sorrowful, be a peacemaker, etc.  We are to do these things given the resources that we have.  That is how we develop as moral beings.

The church has obviously failed to perfectly meet this challenge. There are times when believers have done great things for humanity.  At other times believers have been assholes.  Individual believers are not perfect, the church is flawed, preachers fall short, and the Bible was written by fallible people.  But the seed that Jesus planted has gradually grown all over the world, and has influenced Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers, alike. The law of love affects you and influences you even through you don’t know it. That, it appears to me, is God’s plan - to gradually encourage the evolution and development of people into moral beings who live by the law of love.

 
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01 May 2019 12:21
 
EN - 01 May 2019 11:50 AM

I’ll keep my comments general, as it is exhausting to reply individually to everyone’s questions.  Issues about “whether God should have done this” or “whether Jesus should have done that” must all be considered in the context of what God’s ultimate purpose for this universe and humanity is.  Of course, I am no more an authority about this than anyone else in the world or history.  That being said, I can see what Jesus taught and did.  He did not solve all the problems in the world or in the future.  He did deal with issues that were brought to him (individual lepers, for example).  What I gather from his example is that he was planting a seed (his words, his example, his new community - the church), and giving it what it needed to grow.  Then, he left, and the problems of the world are ours to deal with, just as he did.  What can I gather from that?  That he is more interested, for this current time, in the process and development of individuals as they learn to deal with issues than he is with eliminating all problems.  He also taught that in the next age he would “wipe away all tears”, even while promising that “in this world you will have tribulation.”  So while I can see that he did not solve all the problems of the world 2000 years ago, he did leave us with the law of love (the New Commandment - love one another as I have loved you), and gave us individual examples of what to do - heal the sick, feed the hungry, comfort the sorrowful, be a peacemaker, etc.  We are to do these things given the resources that we have.  That is how we develop as moral beings.

The church has obviously failed to perfectly meet this challenge. There are times when believers have done great things for humanity.  At other times believers have been assholes.  Individual believers are not perfect, the church is flawed, preachers fall short, and the Bible was written by fallible people.  But the seed that Jesus planted has gradually grown all over the world, and has influenced Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers, alike. The law of love affects you and influences you even through you don’t know it. That, it appears to me, is God’s plan - to gradually encourage the evolution and development of people into moral beings who live by the law of love.

This Kumbaya Christianity you suggest is false when judged by fundamentalist Christian interpretation but I’ll say this for it…generally it is a more innocuous take with respect to the potential for negative impacts to society driven by dogmatic religious belief. There are feel good churches today that barely resemble Christianity. But some of these same churches promote semi-clandestine activism that takes a more traditional approach. My church in California was in that vein.

 
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