Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Kind of Righteousness

I don't like much of the god I find in the Old Testament.  There is a lot of death and murder that is undeserved.  The many stories remind me of a jealous two year old fighting over his toys. 

Sure, I understand the theology behind it.  Trust in the Lord and he will bless you.  Don't have any other god's but the god of the Bible.  Among other reasons to not get the ole' sword in the belly.  I just don't buy it.

A reasonable human being would not listen to an imaginary or unseen presence that told him to kill his son.  Today, we would arrest them on the spot and institutionalize them for insanity.  I would argue that that insanity decree would be well deserved.  People do not kill children unless they are evil - even if they claim god told them to, no matter what the Bible says.

And yet, in the Bible, god tells Abraham to kill Isaac.  And when he blindly followed the order, god miraculously saved Isaac by giving Abe a male sheep to kill instead.  I see Abe wiping his brow and letting out a shrill whistle and I see Isaac letting out a loud "WTF!?  Are you kidding me, daddio!  You were going to kill me and you only stopped when god provided an alternative?  I'm out!"

If someone told me to kill my kid, I would call the police.  Actually, I would get it on tape so that the police would have something to work with.  But, since god can't get on tape, it would be easy to conclude that a crazy, nutty order like that would be simply from a loose screw in the brain.  I imagine the person who tells me that to be one with hollow eyes, growing frightening whiskers, male or female.

No, I won't do it.  If god, himself, came down to earth, walked right up to me and ordered me to kill my kid, expecting me to trust him to resurrect the blood of my loins, hoping beyond all hope that he would repeat the crazy Abe exercise and save my kid from sure death just before the knife slit his throat, I would tell him to shove it.  Go find some other idiot who would do something that stupid.  But if he does, I would have him (god) arrested.

And it would be counted to me as righteousness.

17 comments:

  1. I personally do not get that idea either.

    I have come to believe that the Bible was written by people who encountered the Divine, and wrote about it. Everything they claim to have happened is only that, a claim made by a person who had an experience with the Divine.

    The story of Abraham figures into the three big monotheistic religions. The story has significance to these faiths because each one claims it gives their religion Divine legitimacy. Muslims say it was Ishmael the obedient son; Jews of course say it was Isaac; Christians say it was a foreshadowing of Jesus.

    To claim that this story actually happened is one thing. Maybe it did. But why are we taking the author's word for it that "God told him to sacrifice his only son." Really? Did he hear a voice from heaven? Can anyone else corroborate?

    Maybe the only Divine part was God STOPPING the idiocy of human sacrifice? That's how I see the crucifixion of Christ. God didn't need Jesus to die in order to forgive us. Jesus died (and rose again) so we would BELIEVE we were forgiven and UNDERSTAND once and for all that there was/is no need for sacrifice.

    By the Divine Himself becoming the ultimate sacrifice, humanity could come up with no logical reason to continue the abhorrent practice. Check and mate.

    I know that heretical, and not original either. I credit Thomas Cahill. But still, it makes WAY MORE SENSE than the bibliolatrious take on it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps this is a way to think about it: http://carlyjo02.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/genesis-abrahams-sacrifice-nt-jesus-is-lord/
    Retha

    ReplyDelete
  3. My sentiments exactly, Incongruous/Shadowspring! I've had to frequently defend my position to the dubious evangelicals in my life and the errors are so glaring I can't believe I never saw them before! And when I get the same lines that I used to hand out myself - that who am I to question God, that if it strikes me as cruel that God commanded, nay, endorsed genocide and sexism, I get so frustrated. And then they can always resort to, well, you apparently just don't understand the Bible. What an obvious cop-out! Is it such a horrible thing to think for yourself? Why would God give us brains if he didn't want us to think?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Or, better said: What are brains for, if not for thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Retha,

    You mean this part?

    "The big moral issue is why would God ask Abraham to go kill Isaac to teach him not to kill his babies? I don't know."

    You're saying, "I don't know" why God told Abraham to kill Isaac.

    I'm saying "I don't know" that God DID ask that.

    IC might be saying, "I don't know" that any of it is true: the existence of God or Abraham or any of it.

    In all cases, "I don't know." certainly is the only humble, wise answer.

    But the truth is, "I don't know (can't really know, to be honest)" is the only possible answer an honest person CAN give.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was one of the lessons we kids heard in Sunday School more than once, with the usual tagline of, "Isn't that wonderful?" I found it horrifying. Having a father wo did not care for me made it doubly so.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So, why was God such a hardass in the O.T killing ppl and children. Even one of the 10 Commandments said "Don't kill" but God killed? Was God softer & less of a hardass in the N.T or the same God?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Or is the Bible NOT REALLY the inerrant text you were taught, frogla? Don't leave out that possibility.

    I follow Jesus, what I know of His life, what I know of His words. That is more than enough to keep me busy the rest of my life.

    I am not bound by my faith in Christ to accept any more of the OT (or the epistles, for that matter) than "Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself", thoughts endorsed by Jesus (and also by most other faiths worldwide). In fact, I find the words and commands of Christ are often in direct conflict with the OT (and parts of the epistles, for that matter).

    I think what passes for Christianity these days should be renamed "Biblianity". It's been this way since the fundamentalists formed as a group at the turn of the last century.

    So, no, you're not gonna find continuity there, frogla. Even the OT God who spared Nineveh because the citizens there had a change of heart doesn't square with the God who ordered mass genocide of the Canaanites, with no message sent to them to show them they needed repentance or opportunity to be spared.

    Many people have left the faith BECAUSE they studied the scriptures diligently and found that Bible=Jesus=God just doesn't stand the test of credulity.

    Let every man be fully convinced in his own mind, the Apostle Paul wrote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SS,

      What is the "test of credulity"?

      I do not know anyone who has read the Bible and not found it fantastic and bizarre.

      The whole lot of you sound like Vizzini in The Princess Bride, "Inconceivable!"

      What will you do next: Have a "battle of wits to the death" with God?

      Delete
  9. That would be a fun battle. But then, after a while, playing by myself would get old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this argument something you would tell (or have told) your children and your wife?

      Because if it is, I feel very concerned for their spiritual, mental, and emotional well being. This argument is abusive in those three aspects.

      The author of this argument first begins by asserting his authority to give law and judgement: [In the Old Testament, t]here is a lot of death and murder that is undeserved. This assertion makes the author God. God is lawgiver and judge.

      If anyone acquiesce to this assertion, they accept the author as God. [The author may think everyone can be God, but he does not say that.] The author associates, by the applications of insanity and evil to Abraham disagreement with his laws and judgement with insanity and evil.

      Oddly enough, this new God, like the old one, sends others to do His dirty work.

      Note: Today, we would arrest them on the spot and institutionalize them for insanity. See how the author changes from the singular pronoun "I" to "we" when punishment is to be dealt out.

      Similarly: If someone told me to kill my kid, I would call the police.

      And: But if he does, I would have him (god) arrested. Implying that he will have others carry out his judgements on those he condemns.

      The author of this post makes it very difficult for me to think of him as a nice guy, but rather makes me think of abusive people I have known. And the arguments they used.

      Delete
  10. Very very curious. I decry a murderous God and somehow that makes me evil and dangerous. Very curious. One day, I'll understand how the world REALLY goes around.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey tragedy101, he isn't asserting authority over anything, he is making an observation. Your argument is so full of holes I don't know where to start, are you insane or just stupid?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tragedy 101, I have rejected a few of your comments and I will do more. I have no interest in watching what I consider a fairy tale argued over with assertions that the people who believe differently than you are either simply stupid, or somehow an exact replica of the fairy tale they....oh whatever.

    Who cares what I want to say. I just deleted a few comments.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rebecca said: "And when I get the same lines that I used to hand out myself - that who am I to question God, that if it strikes me as cruel that God commanded, nay, endorsed genocide and sexism, I get so frustrated. And then they can always resort to, well, you apparently just don't understand the Bible. What an obvious cop-out! Is it such a horrible thing to think for yourself? Why would God give us brains if he didn't want us to think?"

    & what IC said "Or, better said: What are brains for, if not for thinking?"

    EXACTLY!!!

    my foundation of my faith is simple. i've been reconciled to God thru Christ & anything Jesus + is put away.

    @IC great post!!

    ReplyDelete