Biblically Correct, Not Politically Correct

Genesis 19

Leviticus 18:22

Leviticus 20:13

Judges 19:16-23

Romans 1:18-32

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124 Responses to Biblically Correct, Not Politically Correct

  1. Jonah says:

    Let’s talk about Leviticus in particular. You just said that you don’t support the death penalty. Why are some aspects of Leviticus 20 okay to ignore, and others not?

  2. Let’s talk about Leviticus in particular. You just said that you don’t support the death penalty. Why are some aspects of Leviticus 20 okay to ignore, and others not?

    I’m assuming that you are referring to:

    1) The full text of the Leviticus 20:13 link above:

    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    2) The 1672 General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Colony:

    If any Man LYETH with MANKINDE as he lyeth with a Woman, both of them have committed Abomination, they both shall surely be put to death, unless the one party were forced, or be under fourteen years of age, in which case he shall be severely punished, Levit. 20. 13.

    3) I have said that I am against the death penalty, so you think I am ignoring the second sentence of Leviticus 20:13.

    In a nutshell, God said in Exodus 20:13

    You shall not murder.

    God said in Leviticus 20:13

    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Note that Leviticus 20:13 doesn’t say who shall put them to death. There are Biblical examples of God Himself putting people to death. I believe Exodus 20:13 tells me it’s not something with which I should be involved.

  3. Jonah says:

    I was referring a bit to that, yes. But elsewhere in the same verse, the text is more explicit that it’s you who should do the killing. Leviticus 20:16:

    If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal.

    And that’s not even counting two lines later, which is possibly the most ridiculous line in all of the Bible.

    If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from their people.

    It’s the absurd contradictions and sexism in passages like Leviticus 20 that make me think that Thomas Jefferson was right when he said

    I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

  4. 1) I acknowledge your point about Leviticus 20:16 explicitly stating “you shall kill”. That’s challenged me to compare and contrast Leviticus 20:16 with Exodus 20:13. If one assumes that the words “kill” and “murder” are synonymous, then there is an apparent contradiction. But if “murder” is a subset of “kill” (i.e., if “murder” is the killing of innocents), then there is not a contradiction. When an execution is carried out in this country, the executioners are not themselves tried for murder. Again, I acknowledge your point about Leviticus 20:16 explicitly stating “you shall kill”, and that actually gives support to the practices established by the 1672 General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Colony.

    2) You and Thomas Jefferson are entitled to your opinion.

  5. Jonah says:

    That’s challenged me to compare and contrast Leviticus 20:16 with Exodus 20:13.

    I’m glad you’ve thought about this, and especially glad that you came to same conclusion as I, that executions—even for real crimes—are wrong.

    But I still have a question that hasn’t been answered. Since you did come to this conclusion, you have found yourself disagreeing with a particular verse in the Bible, namely the “you shall kill” part. That is, even if you think it doesn’t contradict the Ten Commandments*, you do think the guideline is wrong. Is my understanding there correct?

    So you’re able to think critically about the Bible, and reject some of the conclusions that strike you as unsound. This doesn’t mean that you should go rejecting other rules all willy-nilly, but it does mean that thinking about the text and questioning its motives is natural. I’m curious, have you done this with the passages linked in the original post? Have you ever asked yourself why homosexuality is wrong, beyond just that those verses say so? I’m interested to hear your answers.

    I don’t think that the Bible is an invalid source for forming moral thoughts, but I do believe that our understanding of morality is better served when we question those guidelines and create arguments that don’t rely solely on the text. If we can move this debate away from “because the Bible says so,” I think both sides will be benefit greatly.

    *I agree that the verbs “kill” and “murder” are not synonyms, and that the distinctions go even further than the one you raise about innocence. But that’s a discussion for another day.

  6. Jonah says:

    (By the way, even though we’ve moved to a new thread, I do hope you get a chance to respond to the points I made in the previous one, especially regarding the suggestion civil unions and marriages be relegated, respectively, to the government and to the religious establishment.)

  7. I’m glad you’ve thought about this, and especially glad that you came to same conclusion as I, that executions—even for real crimes—are wrong.

    My opposition to the death penalty was previously based on wrongly thinking that Exodus 20:13 commands us not to kill. But Exodus 20:13 doesn’t say that. Exodus 20:13 commands us not to murder. I’ve actually changed my point of view accordingly. I am still against murder (killing of innocents), but I am not against capital punishment for capital offenses.

    So you’re able to think critically about the Bible, and reject some of the conclusions that strike you as unsound.

    Yes, I am thinking critically, using the Bible as the basis for my critical thinking, and rejecting some of my previous conclusions that now, upon further examination, strike me as unsound.

    I know that’s not what you were expecting. But it is the truth.

    I don’t have time right now to answer all of your questions. Maybe I’ll be able to get back to them after the weekend. Also, don’t assume that I support civil unions. I don’t. My point in the other thread was that in places where civil unions are supported there is still a push for “gay marriage”, and it’s not about rights, since they already have that from civil unions. It’s about eroding the definition of marriage away from a Biblical standard.

  8. Jonah says:

    Wow. Are you seriously telling me that you just now changed your mind about capital punishment, because of the Bible?

    I just… wow. I don’t even know what to say. If my pointing out the absurdities of that which you don’t believe only pushes you to embrace those absurdities, then I’m wasting my time. I’m not actively helping humanity by tempering its most hateful instincts; I’m actually just reinforcing them.

    I probably shouldn’t bother talking about the memos from this past weekend, because even if I do convince you that the techniques therein are torture, you’ll just revise your position and say that torture is fine after all, so long as it’s not against innocents.

    I came here really believing that the Bible was a force for good, so I’m more than a little dismayed to see it used this way. It’s not just that you’re rationalizing its rules to meet your own ones. Instead, you’re actively embracing evil in the name of the Bible.

    I need a few days to think about this. I might just need to stop posting here entirely, if I’m wasting my time like this.

  9. Wow. Are you seriously telling me that you just now changed your mind about capital punishment, because of the Bible?

    My position on capital punishment was always based on my understanding of the Bible, and still is. My standard for right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, etc. is the Bible. What God says is right is right, and what God says is wrong is wrong.

    Yes, my position on capital punishment changed today. What changed was my understanding of Exodus 20:13. I had always thought it said “Thou shalt not kill.” And, in fact, the King James Version does translate it that way. But all other the versions I looked at translate that word as “murder” rather than “kill” in Exodus 20:13, while all the versions consistently use the word “kill” in Leviticus 20:16 (comparison). It appears cosistent that while God commands us not to murder, he also instructs us to kill those guilty of certain capital offenses. And guess what? Homosexuality is one of those enumerated capital offenses.

    Does that mean that I am now going to go out and kill homosexuals? No. And I don’t want anyone implying that I would. I am a law abiding citizen. And while the following is villified by many, I can and do love the sinner but not the sin.

    But do I think that the 1672 General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Colony were Biblically correct in making homosexual activity a capital offense, punishable by death, while explicitly referencing Leviticus 20:13? Yes.

    Sidenote: At that time, being Biblically correct was politically correct. Political correctness has changed almost 180 degrees since that time, while Biblical correctness has remained unchanged. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    I’m sure that disgusts you. You may choose to never comment here again. If so, that’s your choice. I was beginning to think that neither one of us was going to change the other’s mind about anything, but you actually helped change my mind today. Of course, it was opposite the change you wanted, but change nonetheless, and Biblically consistent change at that.

    I came here really believing that the Bible was a force for good, … Instead, you’re actively embracing evil in the name of the Bible.

    In some areas, your notions of good and evil are the direct opposite of God’s notions of good and evil.

    God says homosexuality is evil (an abomination). You say it is good.
    God instructs capital punishment for capital offenses. You say that is evil.

    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
    Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    Isaiah 5:20

  10. Jonah says:

    God says homosexuality is evil (an abomination). You say it is good.

    Well, good in the same way that, say, liking okra is good. I don’t really think that preferences, either sexual or edible, lie on a good-evil axis, but sure: I don’t think homosexuality is evil.

    In some areas, your notions of good and evil are the direct opposite of God’s notions of good and evil.

    Perhaps. One thing that has come up often (John was a big proponent of this notion) is that we atheists, without the Bible to guide us, have no sense of right and wrong, and no way to tell good from evil.

    I always thought he was being facetious. Surely you guys don’t really need the Bible to tell you certain morals, but rather the direction works the opposite way: you trust the Bible because the Ten Commandments and the moral teachings of Jesus, for instance, align so well with what you already know.

    But then we have this instance of Exodus 20:13, where differing translations of the Hebrew mean the difference between “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not murder.” The extent to which this point matters to you and changes your understanding of right and wrong is, frankly, shocking. I think killing is wrong because everything I’ve ever known has taught me such. Your belief in whether killing is wrong depends on one word in an ambiguous translation in a several thousand-year-old text? I just can’t wrap my head around that. I don’t think there’s a way we’ll ever be able to communicate with a gulf so fundamental as that.

    So, citing irreconcilable differences, I think I’ll be leaving this little part of the internet. I gave it a good try, but there’s only so much one can do.

    Take care, Red. It’s been a little fun.

  11. Take care, Jonah. I wish you well.

  12. Frin says:

    Mr Pill,

    The fact that you are willing to change your mind about something so fundamentally important as whether or not you support the death penalty on what could be merely a *translation* error concerns me greatly.

    What also concerns me greatly is how you are willing to follow the teachings of Leviticus 20:13, yet you ignore so many other passages of that particular book, including the one that Jonah pointed out earlier. And others, such as as 20:10 – do you feel the same about adulterers as you do about gay people?

    And if you follow the word of the Bible (and Leviticus) so closely, then I hope that you have ensured that you’ve never eaten the fat of a sheep (Leviticus 7:23), never eaten any sea creature that doesn’t have fins or scales such as lobster or crab ((Leviticus 11:10). I hope that you ensured that your wife was set apart for 7 days at the time of her “customary impurity” (Leviticus 15:19). I hope you’ve never eaten fruit from a tree that is less than three years old ((Leviticus 19:23). And I sincerely hope that you’ve never shaved the sides of your hair, or the edges of your beard ((Leviticus 19:28).

    Mr Pill – I’m sure that you can not honestly tell me that you live by all the rules laid down in Leviticus. So – how do you pick and choose that that you think should apply?

  13. Frin says:

    Another question Mr Pill, do you have a beef with lesbians? If so, where does that derive from? Leviticus is pretty explicit regarding a man not lying with another man, but doesn’t mention anything about what women can and can’t do with each other.

  14. Frin says:

    And one more thing:

    The link to Genesis 19 that you provided tells the story of Lot, and the wicked men of Sodom wanting to have sex with the two angels that visited him. Lot said that would be a “wicked thing”, but was quite prepared to let his two virgin daughters go with the men from Sodom. He said “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them.” Does that provide you with a good moral code to live by?

    Further on in that passage, Lot ends up fathering children to his two daughers. Again, does that provide you with a good moral code to live by?

  15. Frin,

    It appears you want to pick up where Jonah left off.

    I have a weekend packed full of activities, but I will try to come back and address some of your questions early next week.

    In the mean time, I believe that the reason Jesus came, and provided a new covenant between God and man, is that man was not able to keep the full law. But that doesn’t mean Jesus came to abolish the law (in fact He made it clear that He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but rather to fulfill them).

    And I knew the shellfish issue would eventually be raised…

    Favorite dish of liberal theologians & skeptics: Shellfish

  16. Neil says:

    Thanks for linking to my piece on the Shellfish argument! That’s one of my favorites. It addresses key points such as how Leviticus 18 addresses universal issues, as the chapter starts and ends with commands not to be like the Canaanites, an evil pagan culture and how
    Leviticus 20 has Israelite-specific punishments.

    Further on in that passage, Lot ends up fathering children to his two daughers. Again, does that provide you with a good moral code to live by?

    The Bible is a thoroughly honest book and records the sins of even heros of the faith like King David. Just because it records the incest with Lot doesn’t mean it is advancing that as a moral good. I’ve found that those who advance that argument typically do so because 1) they don’t understand the context or 2) they are uncharitable towards the Bible and just looking for sound bites to use against it.

    In fact, everyone in the Bible is a sinner, except Jesus. That’s the whole point: We need him as our Savior because we are sinners and can’t save ourselves.

    Peace,
    Neil

  17. i Praise Him says:

    I came seaching for an answer that a Christian brother posed to me about torture, as it relates to the current news stories. I have my own definite opinions but my friend asked, “What does the Bible say about torture? Is it Biblically corect?” By the way, I agree with your posts about Thou shall not murder. I used to believe it was thou shall not kill and was corrected by God in studying His Word and diving into the Truth. Keep fighting the good fight of faith. I look forward to your response.

    Shalom

  18. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill,

    I can’t possibly explain how much reading this today has disappointed me. I really thought you were coming to understand the points that Jonah was raising, and in which I agree. I thought you were beginning to understand our point of view.

    I’ve really enjoyed the civilized discussion that has taken place here the last few weeks, and I can say that I have a much better understanding of your point of view.

    But right in the middle of the discussion, you went against reason. You went against logic. You decided that despite the wisdom and common sense you believe was given to us by God, you would turn your back on it all and say that the Bible is right – no matter what. Why would God give us an inherent sense of what is right and what is wrong, if we are expected to ignore it?

    That’s absolutely tragic to me.

  19. Neil says:

    God does give us a sense of right and wrong, but that doesn’t mean we don’t distort things. When in doubt, go with what the Bible says. If you think he has misinterpreted the Bible, then you should focus on why you believe that. Just appealing to our sense of right and wrong begs the question by assuming that you are right.

  20. Ok, folks, I’m popping in for about a half hour now, which won’t be enough time to address everything that’s been asked of me, but at least it will be something for now.

    First off, since Neil and “I Praise Him” are new commenters here, I say, “Welcome!” I appreciate your comments and welcome them.

  21. Frin,

    Allow me to begin answering you by fully quoting the verses about which you asked…

    Leviticus 7:23
    “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘You shall not eat any fat, of ox or sheep or goat.

    Leviticus 11:10
    But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you.

    Leviticus 15:19
    ‘If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.

    Leviticus 19:23
    ‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten.

    Leviticus 19:28
    You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD.

    Leviticus 20:10
    ‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

    Leviticus 20:13
    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

  22. What also concerns me greatly is how you are willing to follow the teachings of Leviticus 20:13, yet you ignore so many other passages of that particular book, including the one that Jonah pointed out earlier. And others, such as as 20:10 – do you feel the same about adulterers as you do about gay people?

    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

    2 Timothy 3:16

    It’s not about my “feelings”. It’s about applying the inspired Word of God consistently. And yes, I apply it the same way to adulterers as I do to gay people.

    Note that in the Leviticus verses referenced in the previous comment, only two say “shall surely be put to death“. Of the versus you called out, capital punishment is directed for adultery (Leviticus 20:10) and homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13). I, like the lawmakers in Massachusetts in 1672, stand on God’s word and believe that man’s laws should be in agreement with God’s word.

    It is not politically correct today to support capital punishment for adultery and homosexuality. But it is Biblically correct, and was politically correct when our laws were based on God’s Word, the Bible.

    It seems that for progressives, “progress” is moving our laws and our nation off of the foundation of the Bible.

    Mr Pill – I’m sure that you can not honestly tell me that you live by all the rules laid down in Leviticus. So – how do you pick and choose that that you think should apply?

    I don’t believe in “picking and choosing” which Bible verses “that you think should apply”. When people do that, they are making up their own religion. If every person on this planet were like Thomas Jefferson, cutting out the parts they don’t like, there would be Billions of different versions, each suited to the particular religion that the individual wanted. It’s like the rebellion of Lucifer and the rebellion of Adam and Eve … they wanted to be like God, instead of in submission to God.

    I was an agnostic for a long time. Then, God moved in the lives of people around me, and then in my life.

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    John 14:6

    I have found that Jesus is who He says He is. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life.

    Jesus is Lord. He is not a liar or a lunatic.

    “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts.

    Isaiah 55:9

    When my understanding is out of alignment with God’s Word, I adjust.

    I was wrong when I thought that the 6th of the 10 commandments commanded us not to kill. That misunderstanding messed me up in a lot of ways…for example, if we are never to kill, then why do we ever make an attempt to protect our loved ones from evil on any level (be it from an intruder in your home or an enemy that kills thousands of our countrymen)?

    God did not command us never to kill. In fact, there are numerous examples in the Bible where he instructed for certain people to be killed. To everything there is a season, including a time to kill…

    To everything there is a season,
    A time for every purpose under heaven:
    A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
    A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
    A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
    A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
    A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
    A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
    A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
    A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
    A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
    A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
    A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
    A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
    A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
    A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

  23. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill,

    I think I’m close to done here as well. It seems that you may be better off preaching to the choir. You seem to be of the mind that you are right no matter what evidence shows otherwise.

    Neil, if God gave us the sense of right and wrong, then why would he need to write it down. If it’s written, then why give us the sense? If God is perfect, what’s the need for a backup? If the Bible is meant to be the final decision on what is right and what is wrong, then why are there so many contradictions, and why are the most devout followers of Christ still at odds over the rules?

  24. I think I’m close to done here as well.

    If so, that is your choice.

    It seems that you may be better off preaching to the choir.

    That’s funny right there. I remind you that it is you who came to my blog, not the other way around. I’m not chasing you down preaching to you. I’m blogging on my own blog and responding to commenters.

    You seem to be of the mind that you are right no matter what evidence shows otherwise.

    That’s funny, too. You suggest that I think I’m right no matter what evidence shows otherwise.

    Yet I have admitted in this very thread that I was wrong and changed my point of view based on Biblical evidence that was contrary to my previously-held belief.

    I am not “of the mind that I am right no matter what”.
    I am of the mind that God is right no matter what.
    And when I am wrong, I do my best to adjust accordingly.

  25. In fact, everyone in the Bible is a sinner, except Jesus. That’s the whole point: We need him as our Savior because we are sinners and can’t save ourselves.

    I fully agree, and would only add that aside from Jesus, everyone else is a sinner. Not just everyone else in the Bible, but every other person who has ever walked the face of this planet…

    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Romans 3:23

  26. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill,

    With respect, I think you are venturing into very dangerous territory. You seem to be reconciling the words in the Bible with your duty to kill. The arguments you just gave “be it from an intruder in your home or an enemy that kills thousands of our countrymen” are no different than those given by 911 suicide bombers.

    I’ve never given this advise to anyone before – but I think you need to talk to a pastor, or minister, or whatever they are called at your church. You need to speak to someone you trust about this, since you obviously think I am a servant of Satan.

    I don’t believe there is ever a reason to kill another human being, unless there is good reason to believe someone is in immediate danger. Most of my Christian friends agree with that.

  27. Ryan says:

    You said: “I am of the mind that God is right no matter what.”

    That’s what I meant. You have no way to know that, and I would argue that you have no “reason” to believe that.

    I say that you are better off preaching to the choir because you start your arguments on the basis that the word of God is actually the word of God, and you are not willing to reconsider that. If you are not willing to consider the arguments of those who disagree with you, there is little point sticking around.

  28. Ryan,

    I made it clear above that I have no intention of taking matters into my own hands. I have no intention of going out and killing homosexuals or adulterers, or kidnappers, or rapists, or any of the other people guilty of crimes which are capital offenses in both the Bible and in the laws of this country over 300 years ago.

    I am a law abiding citizen, and I, like you, work through the normal political channels in order to change our country.

    You and “most of your Christian friends” don’t agree with the Bible.

    That’s between you and God.

    I, like the majority of the founders of this great nation, agree with the Bible. I am no more of a “right wing extremist” than our founders were.

  29. Neil says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Neil, if God gave us the sense of right and wrong, then why would he need to write it down. If it’s written, then why give us the sense? If God is perfect, what’s the need for a backup? If the Bible is meant to be the final decision on what is right and what is wrong, then why are there so many contradictions, and why are the most devout followers of Christ still at odds over the rules?

    God gave us a sense of right and wrong. We rebelled in sin against him and suppress the truth in unrighteousness. He chose to speak through Prophets and Apostles and to have them record things for us. I encourage you to read this carefully:

    Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Re. contradictions: There are some paradoxes but nothing that can’t be reconciled if you read the whole thing carefully. This site addresses a lot of common objections: http://www.tektonics.org/index2.html

    Re. disagreements over rules: Romans 14 and other passages address how we are to handle disputed matters. From this we can immediately infer two things:

    1. God knew we’d have disputed matters.
    2. He gave guidance on how to handle them.

    Some beliefs are essential if one is to call himself a Christian – e.g., Jesus is the only way to salvation (mentioned directly or indirectly in 100 passages), Jesus is God, etc.

    Other things have guidance but not absolutes. For example, with respect to alcohol the Bible teaches not to get drunk, to obey laws and not to tempt others with our drinking. But it doesn’t say never to drink. If people don’t want to drink that is fine, but that shouldn’t be presented as a Biblical requirement or an essential of the faith.

    Contrary to many myths, we have a lot of freedom in Christ. Christianity contains many principles and some specific rules, but we can exercise our personal preferences in many ways, such as worship styles.

    Yes, the differences can be frustrating, but if you are fully committed to following him then dive into the Bible and give it serious study.

  30. Ryan, you said

    you start your arguments on the basis that the word of God is actually the word of God, and you are not willing to reconsider that. If you are not willing to consider the arguments of those who disagree with you, there is little point sticking around.

    You are pointing a finger, but there are three fingers pointing back at you. Take a look in the mirror.

    You start your arguments on the basis that the word of God is not actually the Word of God, and you are not willing to reconsider that. If you are not willing to consider the arguments of those who disagree with you, there is little point sticking around.

    Have you ever considered that the Bible really is the Word of God?

    The Eternal Word

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    John 1:1-5

  31. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill and Neil.

    I can answer both your questions with one answer. I was a Christian for several years as a young adult. I read the Bible cover to cover before becoming a Christian. I wrote college papers refuting evolution. I still have my Bible. I still have a stack of Christian books. (Mr. Pill, I recognize some of your quotes from Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” books – I have both).

    I took all those books to heart. I really did. I love to read, and I love to learn.

    As I read more books, and learned more about science and the wonderful world we live in, I learned that there is no need to believe in God. I’m not going to say I proved that there is no God, because that is not possible. I learned that it is foolish to believe anything for which evidence does not exist.

    As I grew older, I experienced many things that showed me that the Biblical idea of God is simply not possible, or probable, or believable. There is no one reason.

    I just don’t think I want to debate with people who think they are so much better than me, when I believe I have done much more to try understand you, than you have me.

    Kind Regards

  32. Ryan,

    I do not think I am “so much better than” you.

    That is your projection.

    I am no better than, and no worse than, you.

    I learned that it is foolish to believe anything for which evidence does not exist.

    The fool has said in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt,
    They have done abominable works,
    There is none who does good.

    Psalm 14:1

    And, to make sure we get the message, God repeats Himself:

    The fool has said in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
    There is none who does good.

    Psalm 53:1

    Don’t Be A Fool

    I learned that it is foolish to believe anything for which evidence does not exist.

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Hebrews 11:1

    I have seen ordinary people accomplish amazing things because of their faith in God. That faith in God and in “things not seen” produced real, tangible results. Results that no one could explain except for “God did it”. You can say God is not necessary. The Word of God says faith is substance, and faith is evidence.

  33. Frin says:

    Mr Pill,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions – I do appreciate the effort you put in with your answers. You say that you apply the same standards to adulterers as you do to gay people – so are you advocating that the Constitution be changed to prevent adulterers ever marrying again? Are you applying the same energies to opposing adulterers as you do to opposing gay people? (Note that I don’t think “oppose” is really the right word that I am looking for but I couldn’t find the correct one)

    If I may beg another moment of your time – I would really appreciate an answer to my question about lesbians, I am interested in your response.

    Neil – thanks for your response. You said

    “The Bible is a thoroughly honest book and records the sins of even heros of the faith like King David. Just because it records the incest with Lot doesn’t mean it is advancing that as a moral good.”

    I feel like this answer supports my supposition that parts of the Bible are used selectively. Mr Pill linked to the passage in Genesis, presumably because Lot called the men wanting to have sex with Lot’s angels wicked. So that is then interpreted to mean that all men who want to have sex with other men are wicked. But the very next sentence Lot offers up his virgin daughters to the wicked men to do with as they please. Applying the same interpretation to that phrase as the previous, surely it must then be fine for fathers to give their daughters to men as they see fit? Do you not agree? How can you say one sentence advances moral guidance – i.e homosexual men are wicked, but the next sentence doesn’t advance moral guidance – i.e its not cool to give your virgin daughters to wicked men?

  34. Neil says:

    As I read more books, and learned more about science and the wonderful world we live in, I learned that there is no need to believe in God.

    Which science books explained in bulletproof form how something came from nothing? Which ones explained in an unassailable way how life came from non-life? Even if Darwinian evolution was true and they found real evidence to support it, that wouldn’t explain the origin of a finite universe or how life came from non-life.

    I’m not going to say I proved that there is no God, because that is not possible. I learned that it is foolish to believe anything for which evidence does not exist.

    When I hear the “evidence does not exist” line I refer to that as hyperbole gone mad. You may have counterpoints to why you don’t find the cosmological, moral, teleological, historical, etc. evidence to be compelling enough to repent and believe, but to say there is no evidence is a bit extreme.

    For example, the evidence for the following is so compelling that virtually all historians agree that:

    – Jesus was a real person who died on a cross.
    – his disciples believe He rose from the dead.
    – that the Apostle Paul converted from persecuting Christians to becoming Christianity’s greatest advocate, including writing Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and more. These put essential Christian doctrines and beliefs in writing within 20-30 years of the crucifixion.
    – After the crucifixion, Jesus’ brother James went from being a skeptic to a believer, a leader in the early church and a martyr.

    Now you may be able to imagine scenarios to explain those historical facts that don’t involve the resurrection, but I find it to be the most likely version of events (especially when considering lots of other evidence).

    Peace,
    Neil

  35. Ryan says:

    Neil, you are using the same arguments creationists always use. Evolution has nothing to do with the beginning of life. Nothing at all. If you are going to argue about evolution, learn something about the theory. As a theory, there is as much evidence to support it as there is for the theory of gravity. Do you really think it is a theory without any evidence? It’s been demonstrated in a lab, and it has been observed directly in nature. There are transitional fossils for almost every major transition, and they have been found by looking in the layers of earth where the theory predicted they would be. I suppose God put those fossils there as a game of hide and seek.

    None of your “beginning of life” arguments hold any water. I don’t know exactly how life started, but scientists are getting closer to some plausible explanations. You don’t have an explanation of how life started – you just have an explanation of how life on Earth started (God made it) – you don’t have an explanation of how God came into being.

    As for the evidence you base your life on:

    “Jesus was a real person who died on a cross.”

    – Yup, I believe he probably did, as do most historians. Lots of people were crucified. This means nothing at all.

    “his disciples believe He rose from the dead.”

    – Well, Tom Cruise believes in some crazy stuff too.

    “the Apostle Paul converted from persecuting Christians to becoming Christianity’s greatest advocate, including writing Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and more. These put essential Christian doctrines and beliefs in writing within 20-30 years of the crucifixion.”

    – Did you ever think he might have been wrong? There are so many examples of where the stories of Paul differed from those of the other apostles.

    I looked briefly at the list of crap on your site that you are peddling as “evidence”. The fact that you are repeating the lie from “Expelled” about Richard Dawkins shows how low you are willing to stoop. Dawkins did not present the theory that aliens seeded life on Earth. He was asked if he could think of any “remotely possible” way that life could have started on Earth. He put forth the fact that we cannot deny that life could have beens started by another life. He does not believe that it happened that way, and has said that many times. You are spreading a lie, just like Ben Stein was.

    Besides, you actually believe that an alien life form seeded life on Earth. You just call him God.

  36. Neil says:

    Ryan, you missed the point. I know that evolution doesn’t explain where things came from. That is one of the flaws with those who assume that even if Darwinian evolution was true that it rationalizes away God. You were the one that said, “As I read more books, and learned more about science and the wonderful world we live in, I learned that there is no need to believe in God.” I just pointed out that if you are only basing that on evolution then you have a lot of work left to do.

    There are transitional fossils for almost every major transition, and they have been found by looking in the layers of earth where the theory predicted they would be.

    You must be kidding. Even evolutionists concede the problem of the lack of fossil evidence: “The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

    Or this gem by Harvard Paleontologist Richard Lewontin: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    you don’t have an explanation of how God came into being.

    That’s true, because he is eternally existent. There is nothing objectionable scientifically or logically about having an eternally existent God. It is the best explanation for the existence of the universe. If there were ever a time when there was nothng — no universe and no God — there would still be nothing.

    None of your “beginning of life” arguments hold any water. I don’t know exactly how life started, but scientists are getting closer to some plausible explanations.

    We call that the “science of the gaps.”

    Well, Tom Cruise believes in some crazy stuff too.

    Wow, you really tip your hand with comments like that. We are talking about lots of disciples and early followers who risked their lives for what they believed to be the truth. Their lives were marked with radical transformations despite intense persecution. Jesus’ teachings have transformed the world.

    Did you ever think he might have been wrong? There are so many examples of where the stories of Paul differed from those of the other apostles.

    “So many examples?” Really? Name three. And then demonstrate what explanation you think fits those facts about Paul.

    Re. Expelled! — I’m not sure why you are distorting the truth here. Go read my post again: I said that Dawkins thought it was possible, and you conceded that Dawkins showed it was possible.

    Bonus: This site addresses many of the lies spread by the Darwinists, and it includes a concession by Dawkins that he lied about the filmmakers — http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/03/expelled-exposed-exposed.html

    Besides, you actually believe that an alien life form seeded life on Earth. You just call him God.

    Yes, I believe God created life. You think that is irrational, but then again you think that non-living materials created life. And if that is the case then you have no reason for pride and no reason to critize anyone for anything. We’re all just products of chemical reactions and have no ultimate control. We just think we do. And your Darwinian evolution is solely responsible for my existence and my belief that the evidence I “think” I see demonstrates that Jesus really lived, died and rose again and that by trusting in him I can be forgiven for my “sins.” That’s quite an evolutionary process.

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  39. Ryan says:

    Neil, your understanding of science is simply not sufficient to have a discussion about evolution. You simply do not understand the scientific process.

    “Evolutionists” (I assume you mean scientists) do not concede that there is a lack of fossil evidence for evolution. Scientists aren’t even bothering to try to prove that evolution occurred – that is done. The goals now are to find out more about how individual animals evolved.

    As for Richard Lewontin’s comment – it seems to be way over your head.

    Dawkins did not say he lied about “Expelled” – he apologized for calling Mark Mathis a liar to be polite. Mathis is a liar. He intentionally mislead Dawkins by giving him a fake title for the film.

  40. Neil says:

    Neil, your understanding of science is simply not sufficient to have a discussion about evolution. You simply do not understand the scientific process.

    Thanks for the concession speech.

    Re. Dawkins: You have got to be kidding me. You are saying that Dawkins lied about lying? You think he told the truth about Mathis then lied to be polite? No, he conceded the lies but tried to dismiss them by calling them “minor points.” He intentionally misled people.

  41. Ryan says:

    “Thanks for the concession speech.”

    You are welcome. Enjoy the win. And the rapture.

  42. The full title of Darwin’s work:

    “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”

    Darwin’s work was racist and led to the eugenics nightmare.

    What Darwin observed (scientific observation) was the incredible diversity within a species. It is true that certain variations are favorable in certain environments (like the commonly used example of light-colored vs. dark-colored moths on trees in England as the air quality varied from more to less sooty). The moths that stood out more from their surroundings were more likely to be eaten by predators. That is an example of “Natural Selection” and is scientific. Some people call that “Micro-Evolution”.

    This “Micro-Evolution” results in a loss of genetic information, and is consistent with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I have no issues with “Natural Selection” or “Micro-Evolution”.

    But I do have issue with “Macro-Evolution”…

    Neither Darwin nor any other scientist has ever shown scientific evidence for “Macro-Evolution”…that is an increase in genetic information as one species evolves to a new species. There is no scientific evidence for it, and that theory contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    Evolution vs. Intelligent Design was debated extensively in what was at that time (and may still be) the most commented post in the history of HotAir.

  43. This is not scientific, but is an observation. It appears from the commenters at that post, that Biblical Creationists outnumber Anti-ID Evolutionists more than 2 to 1, and if you add the middle ground folks, the Pro-ID crowd outnumbers the Anti-ID crowd nearly 3 to 1.

    Tell that to the folks at “Expelled Exposed” who claim:

    We’ll show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.

  44. Ryan says:

    Mr. Pill,

    While there may be controversy in online forums, there is none amongst scholars who understand the theory.

    Darwin’s book was not racist in the least, and the word “race” in the title does not refer to ethnicity, but to collections of traits.

    There is no such thing as micro or macro evolution. Evolution refers to change over time. Those changes start with small things, that end up, over time, make large scale changes in a species, occasionally making enough changes to cause a new classification. Any mechanism that can make a small change, can also make many small changes, and many small changes will eventually become large changes.

    The thermodynamics argument is not valid from the start, as the 2nd law of thermodynamics refers only to closed systems. Earth is not a closed system.

    Genetic mutations do not cause a loss in information. There is actually no change in the amount of information with a mutations. Just a change in information. If you get a dent in your car, does the car “lose” information? No, it just has a slightly different structure. If I make a typo in my comments, does the comment “lose” information? No, it just has a different word, that may or may not change the information in my comments.

    You say that there is no scientific evidence for one species evolving into another. Do you honestly believe that the hundreds of thousands scientists are lying when they say they have seen it with their own eyes? Speciation has occurred in labs, has been observed in nature, and is the scientific basis for many of the medical technology we use today. If one species has never evolved into another, why is there genetic information in you and me that tells our bodies how to protect us against diseases that have not existed for millions of years, and have never infected humans? Our genetic code can be read like a book, and it tells a story of millions of years of changes, and contains information that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that we evolved from lower organisms.

  45. Math says:

    Ryan: 1. 6300 years is not enough time to allow the major evolution you are suggesting and 2. The Bible says God created everything in 7 days.

    What more evidence can you possibly need to realize how wrong you are?

  46. Ryan says:

    Math, once again you are the voice of reason. I humbly concede.

  47. Math says:

    red: you’re joking right? you’re bragging that the commenters on a right-wing extremist blog (run by Michelle Malkin, no less) are 3:1 creationists? If that’s the best you can do in that context, I’d say creationism is in trouble.

  48. Frin says:

    Math,

    Following Mr Pill’s logic, Obama is doing just fine because 100:1 commentators on HuffPo say so.

  49. There are a lot of left-wing commenters who participate at Hot Air. It’s not all right-wing conservatives.

    The numbers in that Hot Air post were:
    Anti-ID Evolutionists: 46
    Biblical Creationists: 97
    Middle Ground (not Biblical Creationists, but in favor of open debate of ID vs. Evolution: 35

    This is totaly unscientific, but just for the sake of argument, let’s say that at HuffPo the numbers of the first two groups would be reversed, with the third group staying the same.

    That would look like:
    Anti-ID Evolutionists: 97
    Biblical Creationists: 46
    Middle Ground (not Biblical Creationists, but in favor of open debate of ID vs. Evolution: 35

    And if you added the two groups together, you’d get:
    Anti-ID Evolutionists: 143
    Biblical Creationists: 143
    Middle Ground (not Biblical Creationists, but in favor of open debate of ID vs. Evolution: 70

    Even though the first two groups are now equal, it doesn’t create a 50/50 split because of the third group, which is 20% of the total. It’s more like a 40/40/20 split, with 60% being in favor of open debate of ID vs. Evolution.

    Why aren’t you in favor of open scientific inquiry and debate?

  50. Frin says:

    Mr PIll,

    I don’t think that you can interpret Math or my statements to mean that we are not in favor of open scientific inquiry and debate. Using commentator numbers at a blog in support of your arguments is CLEARLY unscientific. That was the point that was being made.

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