Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
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31-08-2010, 03:38 PM
 
Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
The following questions were asked to me in an old thread:

Old Thread

I am answering them here because of the new thread categories created (no pun intended) by the admins.

Quote:1. When you say you're a "Bible-believing Christian", do you mean you believe the Bible as literal? Do you believe the world is <10,000 years old?

I do believe the Bible is literal. More precisely, I believe it is the inerrant (in its original writings) inspired Word of God. Yes, I know the Bible as we know it today was only assembled less than 2000 years ago, and I know that it has been translated into different languages, and that there are many english translations, and that the Protestant Bible has less books in it than the Catholic Bible, etc.

Because I believe that the Bible is the truthful word of God, I do believe in a Young Earth (< 10,000 years old, probably closer to 6,000).

Quote:2. How do you explain all the contradictions to the "young Earth" theories, including the age of rocks and the fact that we can see light from stars that are millions of light years away?

Let me start by saying that I can't explain "all" of anything. In a general sense, I believe that any perceive contradictions are just that: perceived. I think the confusion happens when you don't have all the facts. For instance, if I told you a) I was the oldest child in my family; and b) I was the youngest child in my family, armed with just that information one would accuse me of being contradictory. But if I then told you that I was an only child, the confusion and apparent contradiction are gone. So...age of rocks? How do we know that the aging techniques used are 100% dependable? Recorded history is littered with examples of "science" being disproven by "better science" so to speak. We used to think the world was flat, or the sun revolved around the earth. Who's to say today's science won't be disproven in the future? I have yet to see proof that any aging technique is 100% accurate. As for the "light a million light years away" question, again I am not a scientist, but I believe that if God can create everything and anything, He can create light that we can see from milliions of light years away even if the earth and everything else is only 6,000 years old. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then this apparent conundrum is no problem for Him. Sorry I can't give any scientific proof, but I can't explain how a space shuttle works either Wink

Quote:3. How do you explain the various contradictions in the bible, i.e. there are two versions of the 10 Commandments. How can it be the literal word of God if it contradicts itself?

See my answer to #2 re: contradictions. Again. I can't explain every apparent contridiction, and I must admit I don't know where the 2 versions are or how they are different (are you talking about the Catholic/Lutheran and "other" version, or somethng specifically in the Bible?). Regardless, unless I'm mistaken, "10 Commandments" is a name that humans gave to God's list of commands given to Moses. God did not say: "These are the 10 Commandments" and then some other time say "no, actually THESE are the ten commandments". God commanded things. He has hundreds if not thousands of commandments given over the history of mankind. The term and categorization of "10 Commandments" is man-made, and thus may have contradictions.

Quote:4. Have you read the whole bible? If not, I think you might find it surprising.

I have not read the whole Bible, but I have read a good chunk of it. I think I know where you are coming from on this. The whole "Bible Atrocities" thing? I can say many things about it. Like, if I said "Hitler was an evil man who ordered the torture and killing of millions of Jews", I am stating a historical fact about an atrocity. Does that mean I condone it, or that I am like Hitler? What about incest, slavery, polygamy, etc. You are right, the Bible has tons of instances of these things, and even either seems to or actually does condone it. All I can say is, I don't have all the information. Was slavery in 4000 BC the same as slavery in 1850? Was our genetic makeup more amenable to incest back then, as it was clearly necessary to populate the earth? Maybe? At least maybe.

I think I'd like to conclude by telling you the main reason why I believe what I believe. Hopefully it will give you some context to my answers. I believe the Bible is the literal Word of God, and trust completely in it, because of prophecy. There is virtually no mathmetical possibility that all the prophecies in the Bible that have come true could happen by chance. Take prophecies about Jesus' birth. There are upwards of 70 of them. All made and recorded before he was born. The chances that one man would fulfill just 8 of them is the same as picking the one gold coin out of a pile of silver coins stacked 3 feet deep across the whole state of Texas, in one try. So you see, I think God made it perfectly clear how the world was created. He even became human and lived among us. Respectfully, just as you probably think I am crazy for believing what I believe, I can't understand how someone could NOT believe it after all that is revealed to us.

Well, I'm sure this discourse will provoke much conversation. I can't promise I'll always be able to write so much so often, but I'll try my best. I hope I didn't offend anyone and hope the discussion can always be civil and thought provoking.

Barley
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31-08-2010, 03:57 PM
 
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
So, just to make sure, you also believe the earth is flat, immovable, and at the center of the universe, with hell below our feet and heaven far above it, right?

If so, are all the images of earth from space fabrications, or do you have an alternative explanation?
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31-08-2010, 04:25 PM
 
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
Hi TruthAddict! Ironically we may be more similar than you think, as my goal is to seek the truth just as your handle implies.

To answer your questions, as far as I can comprehend, I do not believe the earth is flat, I believe it is a sphere. I believe it is moving (rotating, revolving, wobbling, etc). I don't know if it is at the center of the universe (although I don't think it CAN'T be). Also, I don't know where heaven is or hell for that matter. Finally, I have no reason to believe that images of earth from space are fabrications.

If I may be proactive here, I'm guessing you asked me all these questions because "it says somewhere in the Bible..."? Please let me know if this is a correct assumption or not. If it is, I guess I can find reasonable doubt in every instance. Like, if I say "My wife is the center of my universe", you know what I mean. You immediately know that she is the most important thing to me, not that she occupies the exact location of the supposed Big Bang. If you accept that reasoning, than a followup question may be "well, why did God make the Bible so cryptic and confusing?". I wonder that myself sometimes! All I can say to that is "I don't know", but I'm just glad he left something to guide me and explain the unexplainable.

Sorry if I assumed too much. Like I said if I was off base, let me know and maybe we talk about where you were going with those questions.

Thanks!

Barley
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31-08-2010, 04:36 PM
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
(31-08-2010 03:38 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
Quote:1. When you say you're a "Bible-believing Christian", do you mean you believe the Bible as literal? Do you believe the world is <10,000 years old?

I do believe the Bible is literal. More precisely, I believe it is the inerrant (in its original writings) inspired Word of God.

Why?

Quote:
Quote:2. How do you explain all the contradictions to the "young Earth" theories, including the age of rocks and the fact that we can see light from stars that are millions of light years away?

<snip>

So...age of rocks? How do we know that the aging techniques used are 100% dependable?

Radioactive decay rates.

Every radioactive chemical on Earth has a half-life. If we know the amount of chemical in a substance now, we can use the knowledge of the chemical's half-life to trace its age. The less of the substance remaining, the older the rock is.

What makes you think that these dating methods are unreliable? Do you know of some situation where radioactive decay rates are variable?

Quote:Recorded history is littered with examples of "science" being disproven by "better science" so to speak. We used to think the world was flat, or the sun revolved around the earth. Who's to say today's science won't be disproven in the future?

This is the bare assertion fallacy. You can't base disbelief in an argument on the statement that "it will be disproven in future". You don't know that it will be disproven in future. You just say it will.

Quote:As for the "light a million light years away" question, again I am not a scientist, but I believe that if God can create everything and anything, He can create light that we can see from milliions of light years away even if the earth and everything else is only 6,000 years old. If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then this apparent conundrum is no problem for Him.

So your god created the universe in such a way that it looks exactly as if he hadn't? Do you see the problem with this?

Quote:Was our genetic makeup more amenable to incest back then, as it was clearly necessary to populate the earth? Maybe? At least maybe.

No. It wasn't.

As far as we know, there has never been any genetic configuration which makes incest a good thing. No instance of homo sapiens or any of its ancestors has possessed such a configuration. By all known laws of genetics, it is impossible. What makes you think that it could have happened?

Quote:I believe the Bible is the literal Word of God, and trust completely in it, because of prophecy. There is virtually no mathmetical possibility that all the prophecies in the Bible that have come true could happen by chance. Take prophecies about Jesus' birth. There are upwards of 70 of them. All made and recorded before he was born.

This is hardly surprising if you take a minute to think about it.

Even ignoring the fact that many of the prophecies are incorrect, this is hardly surprising. The New Testament was based off of the Old Testament, and has been altered many times since its writing. Not only was Jesus's character created for the sole purpose of fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, he was later altered to fit it even more accurately.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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31-08-2010, 06:09 PM
 
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”
Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ...”
Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”
Isaiah 45:18: “...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast...”

Again, you did say you believed in the Bible literally, so I would assume you believed the earth to be immovable. What about geocentricism? If things in the Bible are demonstrably false, what then?

Furthermore, the Earth occupies no special position in the universe. I don't know whether or not you choose to believe science, but if the earth was the size of an atom (0.1-0.5 *10-^9), the observable universe would very roughly be a sphere 700,000 miles in diameter (hundreds of times larger than the earth), assuming my calculations are correct (it would still be several hundred thousand miles at least).

What leads you to believe that out of the quintillions of objects in the observable universe, that the earth is special? Or to avoid a loophole, why would God feel the earth is special?

Furthermore, why Christianity? How do you know that the Bible is the literal word of God and not the text of another religion?

Also, if you believed in the Bible literally, you would be attempting to stone me to death right now.

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
-- Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

Is this not the word of God, or do you choose to ignore it?


If the answers to these questions are "I just know because I have faith" what exactly are you trying to get out of being here?

I hope you know I'm not trying to be a jerk at all, so please forgive me if my questions are too blunt.
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31-08-2010, 06:17 PM
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
There are studies that show that facts don't matter. People who are saturated or choose to believe what is untrue, are more likely to continue to believe what is untrue than to accept evidence to the contrary, even if that is overwhelming or is powerful enough to be proof.
BarleyMcFlexo, how can you be sure that this statement doesn't describe you?
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31-08-2010, 08:50 PM
 
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
You guys are fine. I know you are not trying to be jerks, but it helps to remind me so thanks for that Smile

Unbeliever, I think I answered why I believe the Bible (prophecy - but there are many other reasons as well). As for the claims that many prophecies are incorrect, how can you be so sure? And keep in mind that the Bible tells us that there will be false prophets and how to distinguish a true prophet from a false prophet. Also I believe that your claims about the New Testament and Jesus are incorrect. The New Testament was based on Jesus and His Gospel, which fulfilled the Old Testament and created a new covenant (that's why I don't need to stone TruthAddict Wink) It has not been altered. That's actually a Muslim claim that is totally false. The dead sea scrolls were a very important discovery that confirmed the transcripts, not disproved them.

RE: radioactive decay rates. I have heard of many instances where it yielded false results (I can dig them up if you wish), thus proving my point that it is not 100% accurate. Using these techniques, a freshly dead animal was calculated to being some 30,000 years old. Besides, if the process measures the amount of "whatever" now, and then goes back in time using the decay rate, which may or may not be constant (I don't know...just a possibility), then how do you know how much "whatever" was there in the first place> Sorry, I can't trust something with so much potential for error.

RE: bare assertion fallacy. I guess I understand your point about banking on the future to disprove a point. See my previous paragraph for current disproof (not in future)

"So your god created the universe in such a way that it looks exactly as if he hadn't" I don't follow you there. On the contrary, he created the Universe and told you and I exactly how he did it!

RE: Incest & genetics. God created man and woman in His own Image, that means good and perfect. Before the fall there was no death, suffering, aging, etc. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they introduced evil into the world and began to die (as we know it today - we are dying a little bit every day, until we, well, die). So as Adam and Eve, and their offspring reproduced, obviously they had to reproduce together, but their bodies were still closer to "perfect" than we are, and so they were able to overcome the problems related to incest. I know I'm probably going to get ridiculed for this belief, but before you call me crazy, please just consider one thing: is this explanation at least possible?

TruthAddict, thanks for the Bible references! Remember I said the Bible is true in its original writings. I assume you used the King James translation? Did you know the NIV version of 1 Chronicles 16:30 reads "The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved". Who's to say this really means the world (society) is firmly established (in its ways); it cannot be moved (persuaded to fear the Lord)? I'm not saying this is exactly what it means. But just as one of you said it bugs them when theists or Christians "cherry pick" bible passages, that peeve can go both ways. Are you saying you know that that this passage is 100% talking about the Earth being immovable in space? I don't think you can make that claim. And thus I don't think you can assert that the Bible is demonstrably false.

As for your other questions, I don't know why God considers the earth so special, but I'm glad he does! Why Christianity and not some other faith? To name a few, other religions are man made, contradict themselves, have false prophecies.

And the final point about "ignoring the word of God". I can see why I seem hypocritical. First I will confess that I sin every day by not being totally obedient to God. But to your specific point,, I don't think you understand the greater picture of the OT. The Law was provided to the Jews (His chosen people) to show them how to live a holy life, but also to show them the need for a savior. When Jesus came along, he fulfilled that role and the Law no longer applied (although there are plenty of things in the Law that are good and that should still be followed).

I guess in general, I would encourage you to stop looking for "gotcha's" and realize that you (or I) cannot possibly know EVERYTHING. I love computers. I use them everyday. I believe that when I hit the appropriate key on the keyboard, the desired charater will appear on the screen. And when I click on a link, I believe that the computer will take me to that website. But I have no idea HOW the computer does it. It's all 0's and 1's and frquencies and electricity, etc. Just because I can't answer every question about how a computer works, or why it crashes when it does, doesn't mean that the computer does not exist or is a figment of my imagination, or that I can't believe in what it is and what it does. So I hope you can cut me a break when I say "I don't know", but also give me credit when I raise possibilities that cannot be refuted.

Again, I'm not taking anything personal and trust you guys and gals aren't either. Good night!
(31-08-2010 06:17 PM)No J. Wrote:  There are studies that show that facts don't matter. People who are saturated or choose to believe what is untrue, are more likely to continue to believe what is untrue than to accept evidence to the contrary, even if that is overwhelming or is powerful enough to be proof.
BarleyMcFlexo, how can you be sure that this statement doesn't describe you?

Not trying to be cute, but No J., how can you be sure that this statement doesn't describe you? I believe the facts matter and the facts point to God, Jesus, and biblical truth. I know there is the tendancy for both sides of this debate to accuse the other of not changing their minds because that would force them to admit that they were wrong. Human pride is a powerful force! Thanks for your input!
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31-08-2010, 11:16 PM
 
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
Hi there. Thanks for the engaging discussion. You seem like a really nice person.

I grew up believing exactly the things you describe. I wasn't one of the cool members on here who were able to resist belief from a young age. Disbelief grew on me because of education and lots and lots of reading. I was a theistic evolutionist for more than 10 years. I'll reply (hopefully respectfully) with a few of the realizations I've had that made me deconvert.

... if God can create everything and anything, He can create light that we can see from milliions of light years away even if the earth and everything else is only 6,000 years old.

There are overwhelming scientific proofs that the earth is old. Radiocarbon dating is a rather outdated method at this point, but scientists use a number of methods (upwards of 20) to test any specific sample. It is either total coincidence that these samples match in age or god willfully set out to make it look like they're old. This knowing misdirection would say something about god if it were true. It would make him the great deceiver. (Since he wishes for "all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4) this seems like a contradiction in character.

God is omniscient and omnipotent

It is impossible to be both omniscient and omnipotent. If god were omniscient and omnipotent would it be possible for him to change his future mind?

Was slavery in 4000 BC the same as slavery in 1850? Was our genetic makeup more amenable to incest back then, as it was clearly necessary to populate the earth?

I'm sure slavery was different - but no less reprehensible. This issue points to one very important fact. Morality is not set. As a species our morality has changed in spite of our beliefs in a deity. As man has become more civilized, god has as well. If god were not an invention of man, his morality would move separately from our own. Now, I know here some would argue that god's morality is different from the world's, but in general terms, Christian morality has changed along with the times to a great degree.

I believe the Bible is the literal Word of God, and trust completely in it, because of prophecy. There is virtually no mathmetical possibility that all the prophecies in the Bible that have come true could happen by chance.

There are several faults in this logic. The first is that Jesus had access to these prophecies and could have set about to "fulfill" them to prove himself the messiah. If he had no knowledge of the hebrew scriptures and still fulfilled them all, you might have a better footing. Secondly, the gospels were written up to 30 years after the death of Jesus in many cases, which would have been plenty of time to "fulfill" the rest for him.

I can't understand how someone could NOT believe it after all that is revealed to us.

Exactly! Science has revealed so much to us! It has enabled man to understand exactly how improbable he is. How could I deny my upbringing as a christian after all that was revealed to me? I set aside my fear of burning in hell for all eternity and started to read perspectives other than my own. I realized that god, if he existed, just might be more interested in curious and skeptical followers than blind masses led by feelings. If I am dead set wrong about everything and god does exist, I'll have pretty good reasons to give him when he asks why I didn't believe.

I applaud you for looking outside yourself and your comfort zone. It's a brave thing to do.
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31-08-2010, 11:19 PM
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
(31-08-2010 08:50 PM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  You guys are fine. I know you are not trying to be jerks, but it helps to remind me so thanks for that Smile

Unbeliever, I think I answered why I believe the Bible (prophecy - but there are many other reasons as well). As for the claims that many prophecies are incorrect, how can you be so sure? And keep in mind that the Bible tells us that there will be false prophets and how to distinguish a true prophet from a false prophet. Also I believe that your claims about the New Testament and Jesus are incorrect. The New Testament was based on Jesus and His Gospel, which fulfilled the Old Testament and created a new covenant (that's why I don't need to stone TruthAddict Wink) It has not been altered. That's actually a Muslim claim that is totally false. The dead sea scrolls were a very important discovery that confirmed the transcripts, not disproved them.

RE: radioactive decay rates. I have heard of many instances where it yielded false results (I can dig them up if you wish), thus proving my point that it is not 100% accurate. Using these techniques, a freshly dead animal was calculated to being some 30,000 years old. Besides, if the process measures the amount of "whatever" now, and then goes back in time using the decay rate, which may or may not be constant (I don't know...just a possibility), then how do you know how much "whatever" was there in the first place> Sorry, I can't trust something with so much potential for error.

RE: bare assertion fallacy. I guess I understand your point about banking on the future to disprove a point. See my previous paragraph for current disproof (not in future)

"So your god created the universe in such a way that it looks exactly as if he hadn't" I don't follow you there. On the contrary, he created the Universe and told you and I exactly how he did it!

RE: Incest & genetics. God created man and woman in His own Image, that means good and perfect. Before the fall there was no death, suffering, aging, etc. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they introduced evil into the world and began to die (as we know it today - we are dying a little bit every day, until we, well, die). So as Adam and Eve, and their offspring reproduced, obviously they had to reproduce together, but their bodies were still closer to "perfect" than we are, and so they were able to overcome the problems related to incest. I know I'm probably going to get ridiculed for this belief, but before you call me crazy, please just consider one thing: is this explanation at least possible?

TruthAddict, thanks for the Bible references! Remember I said the Bible is true in its original writings. I assume you used the King James translation? Did you know the NIV version of 1 Chronicles 16:30 reads "The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved". Who's to say this really means the world (society) is firmly established (in its ways); it cannot be moved (persuaded to fear the Lord)? I'm not saying this is exactly what it means. But just as one of you said it bugs them when theists or Christians "cherry pick" bible passages, that peeve can go both ways. Are you saying you know that that this passage is 100% talking about the Earth being immovable in space? I don't think you can make that claim. And thus I don't think you can assert that the Bible is demonstrably false.

As for your other questions, I don't know why God considers the earth so special, but I'm glad he does! Why Christianity and not some other faith? To name a few, other religions are man made, contradict themselves, have false prophecies.

And the final point about "ignoring the word of God". I can see why I seem hypocritical. First I will confess that I sin every day by not being totally obedient to God. But to your specific point,, I don't think you understand the greater picture of the OT. The Law was provided to the Jews (His chosen people) to show them how to live a holy life, but also to show them the need for a savior. When Jesus came along, he fulfilled that role and the Law no longer applied (although there are plenty of things in the Law that are good and that should still be followed).

I guess in general, I would encourage you to stop looking for "gotcha's" and realize that you (or I) cannot possibly know EVERYTHING. I love computers. I use them everyday. I believe that when I hit the appropriate key on the keyboard, the desired charater will appear on the screen. And when I click on a link, I believe that the computer will take me to that website. But I have no idea HOW the computer does it. It's all 0's and 1's and frquencies and electricity, etc. Just because I can't answer every question about how a computer works, or why it crashes when it does, doesn't mean that the computer does not exist or is a figment of my imagination, or that I can't believe in what it is and what it does. So I hope you can cut me a break when I say "I don't know", but also give me credit when I raise possibilities that cannot be refuted.

Again, I'm not taking anything personal and trust you guys and gals aren't either. Good night!
(31-08-2010 06:17 PM)No J. Wrote:  There are studies that show that facts don't matter. People who are saturated or choose to believe what is untrue, are more likely to continue to believe what is untrue than to accept evidence to the contrary, even if that is overwhelming or is powerful enough to be proof.
BarleyMcFlexo, how can you be sure that this statement doesn't describe you?

Not trying to be cute, but No J., how can you be sure that this statement doesn't describe you? I believe the facts matter and the facts point to God, Jesus, and biblical truth. I know there is the tendancy for both sides of this debate to accuse the other of not changing their minds because that would force them to admit that they were wrong. Human pride is a powerful force! Thanks for your input!
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01-09-2010, 12:22 AM
RE: Questions to a Bible-Believing Christian
Sorry, I screwed that last one up. I am new to posting on forms of anykind.

In response to BarleyMcFlexo's last paragraph from above, I became an atheist because the facts point to science as those who are actually doing something to understand nature, life and everything else that we are surrounded by. I found that I could not find any facts that point to God, Jesus or any truth in the bible at all. That you perceive the fact pointing to God or Jesus flies in the face of all my experience, except that which involves me witnessing people who will believe what they are told even when they already know that what they are being told is wrong. Yes I have seen this happen, many times.

I have never seen any religious attempt to learn any facts about anything, however I have always heard them say that they did.

I have also known many religious people, leaders included, who make up lies to strengthen their cases. Some of these lies are imcredible.

The Mormon religion was started by a con man named Joseph Smith. This is a documented fact. Yet it is a thriving religion with people who are just as convinced that they are right as you are convinced that you are right.

Does the fact that the Egyptian god Horace being born of the virgin Isis on Dec. 25 more than 1500 years before the time Jesus is said to exist not give you doubts?

How about the other gods born to virgins including Ra, Mithra and at least a dozen others?

I don't claim to know everything and I admit to being wrong and learn from my mistakes. I also have tried to be the best Christian that I could be. If I hadn't tried to understand how religious people could know the things that they told me they knew, I probably would still be a Christian. Now I understand how they know. They make it up and then they believe what they make up. They somehow think that they are figuing something out when they are infact just making it up.

If I had said this three centuies ago, I would have been executed by the church for blasphemy.

You wanted feedback.
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