Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ric on God and religion

(Ric posted these comments to my blog, but I think they are important enough to put up on their own.)

Just see the world with all its life forms dependent on one another. Just the removal of one species throws the others into extinction. I can't believe that all of this is accidental. The odds are just against it.

How practical is it that if you were trying to build a watch you would find all the parts and exact fitting pieces already made in one place? Now even if by some grandiose miracle you did happen to come across them, you collect them and put them into a sealed box. You shake that box and open it to see if all the pieces have come together to create a complete watch. Do it again and again and again... no complete working watch. Only pieces getting worn down and becoming more useless.

In order for life to exist and have a world to support it there had to have been a "maker." It is too complex to just happen on its own.

I believe in God. I think religion is basically a business. Religion is a way to get control of people through fear and promise of immortality for monetary gain and political and social power. It's also a great way for people who are lazy or tired not to think. They just believe what someone else tells them and they will be "saved." They don't have to be responsible for their beliefs or actions if they rely on a pastor or pope or spiritual leader for their actions.

There is a God. There are people who will take advantage of the belief in God to make religion about hate, greed self-interest and power. And there are people who just marvel at the world as it was made and try to be thankful by giving back instead of just taking.

(And that was followed by this, more of Ric's opinions. I share them because, having graduated from a Baptist College - Biola - with a degree in theology, his thoughts on this subject matter.)

I donĂ‚’t like talking about religion and I am not usually very vocal on much. I do believe in looking into things however.

The Bible is made up of many books or letters. There are many more books and letters out there that were discarded for one reason or another as un-inspired and not put into this collection of old and new testaments. Who made this collection? Why did they chose these books and letters over others? What gave them the right to say this is of God and that is not?

If you look at who made the grouping you will find that it was collected to insure the beliefs and values of leaders of the day. You will also find that the Bible has changed as it has been passed down to fit beliefs that scribes (the Xerox machines of their day) held. There are sections in our modern Bible you will not find in the original texts (ie. Dead Sea Scrolls). They have been added along the way.

Next there is it idea of how to take the Bible. Do you take it literally or figuratively? If you take it literally than Proverbs 23:13: Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. You should beat your children with a rod if you donĂ‚’t want them to die.

Or Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman. Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. I guess churches should be rallying for the death penalty for adultery.

Or Deuteronomy 33: 28 &29 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

If you opt to take it figuratively than how do you take Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." This is one of the passages that has been used against gays as literal as one can get.

But, if Jesus would have wanted us to have a Bible maybe he would have written one, or a book or even a letter. No such thing exists. People find it easier to have set rules and laws instead of just love and feeling and acting on what is right. If you have something written that is from God that you can twist to fulfill your own hate and greed than a Bible works out great. Personally, I think that is why God didn't give us a Bible or have Jesus write one. Instead he gave us a heart and a mind and a soul to find Him.