Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pastor David Responds: Part 3 - Where He Sticks His Foot in His Mouth

Part 1
Part 2

Let's get right into it for Part 3. Pastor David Nicholes writes:
I began attending a non-denominatoional (sic) Bible study group that met frequently during the week.  Before long I began to see some of what you seem to have seen also.  I learned that there were very many different points of view about major and minor issues.  Happily I made acquaintence (sic) by the grace of God with many spiritually mature people who guided me to greener pastures and steered me away from the poisened (sic) spiritual wells that are so ubiquitous.  This is precisely what Jesus said would be the case: Matthew 13:1-58.  

I remember early in my Christian experience (1979) hearing a prominent Bible teacher named, Frank Sells, give a mesage (sic) entitled MIXING THINGS WHICH ESSENTIALLY DIFFER.  In it he blasted the evil ministry of Bill Gothard.  I never heard of Bill Gothard and had no idea why Frank Sells was so worked up about this man.  Then I began to meet Gothard disciples.  Then I understood why Frank Sells was so worked up.  I learned about Hyles a few years later.  I also learned more about the rich grace of God. I learned that the world is a terrible spiritual battlefield--not primarily a political battlefield.  

I sympathize with you my friend.  The world, including many, many children (note the last awfully poignant word in the book of Ezra) is rife with horrors, child abuse and rape as you mentioned. I, like you, am astonished at the proflic (sic) religious madness that is generated in the name of God.  There are enigmas.  We do in many cases "see through a glass darkly."  I do not propose a neat tidy moral answer for much that takes: "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known (Psalm 77:19)."
David, you're falling into the same trap as the Gothardites. You just can't see it, because you are convinced that your belief system is "spiritually mature" and has "greener pastures." But, oddly enough, that position is EXACTLY the same reasoning that Bill Gothard and all his followers use in their dogma. You can't get away from that when you are dogmatic in your beliefs, believing in an inerrant and infallible book, written by men. 

As expected, the canon is full of contradictions (even in the four gospels, read side by side), outright lies (the prophesies referenced by the Book of Matthew, God's pretense of "love" for humanity), and vindictive set-ups by the very god you worship (placing the tree in the garden, then sending a talking serpent to trick his people, testing Job by killing everything in sight, etc.). You can't get away from a myriad of interpretations when mere men (no women) wrote these pages independently over thousands of years. To pretend that the Bible is a singular organism, inspired by God, is to stick your head in the sand, and call everyone who doesn't see it your way "foolish and blind" - which you did, further in your letter, as did the Apostle Paul! 

Look at you! You're as spiritual as Paul.

Your argument is worthless. Bill Gothard is as right as you are. He gets his religion from the same book. He just interprets it differently. You may disagree, but it's no different than a Hamlet club disagreeing on the true meaning of falling on a sword when you could have lived another day. It's still religion. Meaningless drivel, derived from an ancient book, cobbled together by councils of men (no women), by majority vote! Notice that? Even the councils of men disagreed on the canon and what should and shouldn't be included. Their votes were never unanimous.

Shouldn't those men have been inspired by God? After all, they were putting together the canon, the inspired word of God. If one man voted against the book of Ezra and voted for the book of Ezekiel, while another man voted the opposite in both cases, which man was the actual inspired gentleman? And if only one of them was, why then do we have both Ezra and Ezekiel included in the Bible? They couldn't BOTH have been inspired, could they have?

Anyway...I'll leave that to smarter men than me.

Let's talk about the last chapter of Ezra.  I have no idea what you mean by "note the last awfully poignant word in the book of Ezra." The last word is "wives." But let's back up a bit and speak of the whole chapter in light of your statement, "I, like you, am astonished at the proflic (sic) religious madness that is generated in the name of God."

That whole chapter was about a stupid little rule that God set up for his nation of Israel - that his men could not marry foreign women. Women who were not Jews. But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that God had a really great reason for not allowing the gene pool to be expanded. 

Now, in that chapter of Ezra, God was messing up the peeps of Israel. And they decided that their foreign wives and kids from those wives were the culprit. So what was their solution? 

Kick them out of camp. Yep! The women AND the children. Boom! Gone. No help. No assistance. Just dump them off outside the walls, and then they would be saved from the wrath of God.

And you think we have religious madness today? THAT, my friend is the reason why your god is fucked up. He sticks to rules that make absolutely NO sense, and innocent women and children are left to wander the desert, so God's elect can live another day, saved from his wrath. And you say I'm supposed to accept the fact that religious abusers and rapists are enigmas? Hell no! Your own holy book DEFINES that abuse.

Frankly, being religious does not make you good. Being religious does not make you prone to doing evil things. Being non-religious also does not make you inherently good. Nor does it make you evil. Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with morality at all. Morality of individual human beings, sometimes parroting the collective, is present despite the presence or absence of religion.

Rape, my friend, is a human problem. We created it. We can eradicate it. Abuse as well. But not in your worldview. You look at the world and, speaking religiously, say it is crumbling and headed for destruction. To you, that is inevitable. You cannot see the good, because your religion dictates that we must be brought to our end, completely reprobate from all good, so that your god can send his son back to you. Your outlook on life is hopeless.

I, my friend, have hope. No matter how baseless you deem my hope is, I don't care. I have it. And that, David, is what matters. Not some pie in the sky Bible verse that has no meaning.

Part 4 (Final Part) - Preening the Feathers

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