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Old 02-28-2011, 08:18 PM   #81
Jae Onasi
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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
((Paragon Interrupt)) I have a question for all of you: Must all of the Bible--every story, every account, every word and syllable--be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true? I personally do not believe so.
Depends on if you're using an English interpretation or going with the original Hebrew/Greek. For instance, in the Hebrew in Genesis, 'day' can mean a literal 24 hour day, or a long 'age', as in the wording used "back in my grandfather's day". So, I have no issues as a result with the wording of Genesis having things created in 6 days or 6 'ages', and God using the process described (if a bit crudely) by evolutionary science.

Who cares if it was done in 6 days or 6 billion years, anyway, when there's so much work to do down here on earth for people who are hurting or need help NOW? Jesus didn't debate creationism, He stayed busy healing sick hearts and sick bodies, feeding the poor, and talking about how to relate to our fellow people God with love.

Originally Posted by Tysyacha
If there was no literal Noah's Ark, and if the sun did not literally stand still,
Well, if God can create an entire universe, I suppose He can stop the sun for a few hours, or protect an ark if He wanted to, or create a flood if He wanted to. He made the rules, He can break them every now and then. That being said, I don't get hung up on it. The core message is still 'Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself'. For those who get weirded out by the 2 apparently differing accounts of creation in Genesis, first, look at the Hebrew and get the more exact wording (the differences are subtle, but important), and second, understand the intent. The account in Genesis 1 is designed to portray the awesome power of God, a God that can speak a single phrase and has the power to bring into being an entire universe. The other account a couple chapters later is far more anthropomorphic, and shows God's interactions with His created beings--we humans. It is designed to show His much more personal, loving aspect.
Originally Posted by Tysyacha
I would still believe that Jesus loved me and that He wanted to pay the price for our sins. I've never believed that the Bible was meant to be a science or history textbook, even though many of the events in it did actually occur (such as the Babylonian exile). To me, the Bible was chiefly meant to inspire people to come to the Christian faith, and live out their lives in love for God and His Son.
That's pretty much how I feel, too. How many wonderful things have come out of showing love for humanity? Innumerable things.
Originally Posted by Tysyacha
Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:
There are a lot of different views on the Creationism debate, not just 'literal 6 days vs. evolution', all-or-nothing idea. There's progressive creationism (creationism done over a hundreds of thousands of years), theistic evolution (God directed the evolutionary process), and various shades in between. I think fundamentalists have done themselves a bit of a disservice by not appreciating that God created science as well as religion, and that science and religion both can and do exist in harmony.

Originally Posted by Tysyacha
1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."
Not necessarily. One mistake doesn't invalidate an entire document. If it did, all of ancient history would be tossed completely out the window, as would all of Dawkins' books on atheism.

-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
If your initial equation is wrong in a series of equations, that error is likely going to continue throughout the entire series and mess up the entire thing. Other mistakes may not make any difference whatsoever.

I think the Bible was written as a guidebook to a. Discover God b. Discover love c. learn how to relate to other people in society in a positive, meaningful way. The rules are there to help us, not screw us over. Why do we have rules on avoiding adultery? Because it can spread sexually transmitted diseases and ruin the family unit by creating mistrust in a situation that requires tremendous trust. Why do we have rules against stealing? Because it damages those who are stolen from. Why do we not murder? Because aside from giving the victim a really bad day, it cheapens life all around us. Is God going to punish us? Well, in a sense, yes, by letting us experience the consequences of our mistakes. If we get an STD, it may not kill us these days, but it would have even 100 years ago.

That's not even addressing the many aspects of good things that come to us by sharing love with those around us. Studies are showing that married people live longer and are happier than those couples who just live together, being involved in a faith community leads to less depression (probably because we have a support system then). Staying on the 'light side'/good side of the law is healthier for us. There's just plain less risk of getting shot or killed if you're not breaking into someone's house, for instance, and no chance of being Bubba's lover in jail if you never get arrested.

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