I still get a kick over the FaceBook page of I Am An Atheist. They are still complaining about FB censoring some of their topics, either the meme they put up or some readers comments. That is after they still announce to others how they are a free and open community for discussions. Unless of course, you happen to disagree with them and intelligently debate them. They’ve censored me and several others from their pages- mainly so that the comments they do get can reinforce their lopsided point of view. I’m against censorship of any kind- especially when it happens to me. So I still read their pages and when I see them criticizing and poking fun at and calling others names who have just come on to their page, I generally try to contact them on their Facebook page and encourage them to continue on. I’ve gotten a number of FaceBook friends and email readers of my blog page. I also started a Facebook page called I Am Not An Atheist and copied discussions from their pages and commented on some of the fallacious and ludicrous arguments they persist in expounding on. I’ve been threatened with a lawsuit for libel, and copyright violation. Since the memes I use are the same ones they have used from others they fall under the public domain policy. The conversations I have copied are also public domain having been published on a public forum. My comments are not libelous, they are either factual opposition or satirical lampooning- all of which are protected First Amendment speech. I even had to send these so called “open-minded” people several links to case law regarding media libel suits.
I’ve received a number of criticisms asking if I was a theologian. NO, I am not; I am contrarian and Software Developer (not a programmer) since 1982. I may not be the best around but you would be hard pressed to find one better. I have spent a lifetime dealing with information, volumes of information, sorting, filtering, combining, analyzing and data mining terabytes of information.
I have never said I was better qualified to interpret the language of the Bible then any of the authors of any Biblical book was. Instead, I am relying upon the lifetime work of hundreds if not thousands of archaeologists, and linguists. Including the study of evolutionary linguistics, which investigates questions related to the origins and growth of languages; historical linguistics, which explores language change; sociolinguistics, which looks at the relation between linguistic variation and social structures; psycholinguistics, which explores the representation and function of language in the mind. These folks are continually digging up the relics of the past and analyzing the words imprinted, painted or scored upon shreds of papyrus or walls of caves or shards of pottery.
These folks have the wherewithal to examine each and every letter of the alphabets of these ancient languages (Greek, Aramaic and others) and determine the nuances of the combinations of letters and words and phrases. I trust them to determine whether a new finding changes the meaning of a word or a phrase and they pass that knowledge on to the thousands of seminary theologians who then review all known occurrences of it within the Bible. If changes in the wording need to be made than the various editions of the Bible’s are upgraded.
It does not mean that the Bible is constantly being changed which is the common mantra of the atheists and agnostics. It means that the language, syntax and understanding of the Bible and the culture of that time has been improved. For most of our lives, we have expected that sort of change to occur in our textbooks, as new elements are being discovered we expect the Periodic Table of Elements to be revised. As new medical techniques are discovered, we expect biology texts to be rewritten. That is until recently with the introduction of the Common Core Curriculum – instead it tries to educate our children to the lowest common denominator.
I would never presume to quote a passage straight from the Bible and tell you that was the correct way of interpreting it. When I write that the verses the atheists have cherry-picked out are interpreted incorrectly, it is based upon the tens of thousands of hours of work from the hundreds if not thousands of professionals that know far more about that subject than I do.
This then brings up the question of is the Word of God infallible or does it change. Those who cherry pick the Scriptures for verses to prove their point do so believing that the Law is to be interpreted literally. And of course, we have to believe in that-but God made several covenants with His people and His Law was modified to meet the changing circumstances.
Does this ever happen in real life that a law written years and years ago is still in effect today? Well, we just found out that 4 states have a law that prevented retail shops from opening on Thanksgiving day. How about some others:
In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk. I’m bewildered. How do you get a trout tipsy? a pike pickled? a perch pie-eyed? a bass blotto? a walleye wasted? a salmon smashed? A catfish cockeyed? More significantly, how do you know if you succeeded?
In Alabama, it’s illegal to wear a funny fake mustache to church. So if you’re a God-fearing man, don’t wear a fake mustache to church, and above all, don’t wear one that’s funny.
In Alabama, putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death. Could we call this condemnation by condiment?
It is illegal to milk another person’s cow in Texas. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s cow.
In Waynesboro, Virginia, it was once illegal for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband walked in front of the car waving a red flag. This law may have been enacted by a disgruntled wife looking for a sure-fire way to eliminate her spouse.
So laws can be outdated, outmoded and of course changed by social circumstances and the general understanding of the powers to be at the time. So it is somewhat disingenuous of the liberal left to want activist judges to be nominated to the bench to legislate “social change” and refuse to recognize that the Biblical laws were subjected to interpretation by humans subject to influence from a variety of forces outside of their temples.
One of the memes that got be censored on I Am An Atheist had a picture of a big-busted blonde in a bikini and the statement was that we should poke our eyes out for lusting after the picture. Another one was that the Bible is one of the most violent books ever written with God wanting the Jews to slaughter people all the time.
The entire discussions are on my blog page www.larryemarshall.wordpress.com under the heading evillutionist.
Part of my discussion is below:
Again a misinterpretation of Old Testament Law: this comparison is flawed. First, it fails to realize that the Old Testament Law is largely made up of case law—that is, it presents examples, but gives some leeway for judges to decide individual cases. The Mishnah (codification of oral traditions) reveals the flexibility that the Jews understood the Law to have (see for example the discussion on Deut. 22:13–21 in this answer to a philosophy/religion professor on biblical exegesis and the problem of evil. http://creation.com/answer-to-philosophy-religion-professor-on-biblical-exegesis-and-the-problem-of-evil ). For instance, they didn’t understand ‘eye for eye’ to mandate literally gouging out eyes and knocking out teeth—they instead understood it to teach the general principle of proportional punishment. It was actually a limitation of private vendettas, so a huge advance over other law codes that might command ‘life for eye’ such as Islam.
Is God a homicidal maniac that routinely orders killing, and for arbitrary reasons. In fact, God’s orders for killing are comparatively rare in the Old Testament, and non-existent in the New. But one fundamental principle is overlooked by the atheists: God as the Creator of life has the right to take it. Humans are not, therefore can take life only if delegated this duty by the One who owns life. Failure to understand the Creator/Creature distinction underlies a lot of atheistic fallacies, so it’s important for Christians to understand it. Furthermore God has sentenced all of us to death, first as descendants of Adam (see Romans 5:12-21: Paul’s view of literal Adam), and secondly because we deserve it for our sin, and He even took on human nature to suffer this penalty on our behalf.
There are two relevant scenarios here: the first is in the course of the conquest of the holy land where they were commanded to go into the land and kill the inhabitants. But the Bible teaches that the people had lost their right to the land because of centuries of sin (remember, he told Abraham that the people in the land hadn’t committed enough sin to be driven out—‘the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete’ (Genesis 15:16)). Remember that Israel itself was exiled when the nation failed to keep the covenant God made with them as a condition for their inhabiting the land.
The second case is laws where the death penalty is applied. The case of a woman showing insufficient evidence of virginity is brought out as if every woman who was even suspected was stoned. But again, this is the most severe allowable punishment—the wronged husband would have the right to accept lesser punishments. And he would be seriously shamed and face economic consequences if he were proved to be dishonest. Furthermore, the rabbinic commentary on the law shows that if there were any plausible reason why the woman would not show evidence of virginity even though she was innocent, they accepted that.
So I’ll debate and discuss the Bible, theology, etc. with anyone but I do from a preponderance of facts from a variety of sources. So please, don’t give me just the usual atheistic mantra- be prepared to actually discuss opinions and what drives them for you. Otherwise don’t waste anymore of your time.
Same thing with the evillutionists. I believe in evolution that is documentable and factual but if you promote the idea that people, penguins and pomegranates share a common ancestor you are an evillutionist. I believe in the scientific method but I no longer believe everything that is produced by the “established” sciences. It appears they are more interested in proving their points than they are in following the scientific method. Read the following:
I prefer to use science for the purpose it was designed- to test hypothesis and if I can conceive of a flaw, or an alternate interpretation instead of being dismissed by evillutionists,it needs to be reexamined and either re-approved or discredited. So show me the facts, just the facts and keep your personal opinion out of it- we can discuss that once the facts are determined.