Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Judging and a Watch in a Box


You know, I have noticed more than once, that I, as an atheist, am more familiar with what Jesus actually did and said, as recorded in the bible, than the average fundagelical. (Note: I certainly do believe Jesus, a man, existed. I think he said lots of really good things. This is as far as it goes for me.)

I have also noted that while I try to turn the other cheek and judge not, very rarely do you find fundagelicals attempting to do so. (Admittedly, these are very difficult activities.) But, I as an atheist, am under no obligation to do these things. You'd think a fundagelical would feel some obligation to at least try. No, they just lawyer their way out of these commands from their savior.

I don't get religion at all.

So, Honeybee777 on the RaptureReady message boards really wants to keep judging. She can't quite figure out the theological weasel around her messiah's repeated commands not to judge. Don't worry, she'll get help. People love to bring that up..."doesn't the Bible say don't judge?" yeah, because it does say that. in fact, not just the bible, but jesus your lord and personal savior said that. yeah, that guy. I know that it is actually concerning a brother or sister in Christ really, let's see what the quote actually is:

Matthew 7:1-3 (New International Version)

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Where are the brothers and sisters in christ again?

when the Bible says this...but how do I word this correctly and respectfully you can't word that correctly and respectfully, because it isn't true, and it's not respectful.

HisBride seems to have actually read the bible, and I am incredibly impressed. The Bible makes it clear that we are not to judge unbelievers or the heart motives of anyone. That is the Lord's position. However, within the Church, we are to hold one another accountable, we are to search the scriptures for Truth, and we are to hold our leaders accountable for the doctrines they are preaching. If a brother is sinning we are to follow the dictates of scripture to go to that brother to confront in a loving biblical manner. This is in the bible. I think it's in Timothy somewhere about what to do when you are sinned against. (I can't find the verses.) You are to confront the person one on one, if that doesn't work, you are to confront them with an elder, then you take it to whole congregation. It is very clear from the verse that this was only meant (a) when you sinned against, not just having to live in a world with a person who doesn't believe as you do, and (b) when this involves a member of your religious group.

FracturedInfinity has a different take: I think the problem is that most of the time, it's God's words coming out of our mouths and since the unbeliever doesnt' know any better, they think we ourselves are condemning them. yeah, that's it. i just can't tell when god himself takes control of your vocal chords and forces you to say things against your will. you should probably give me some sort of warning.

What they don't understand is that it's not us, we are just the messengers in these cases. We don't judge, God does. He doesn't want to judge. He's just a victim in all this. I didn't want to shoot that man, god pulled the trigger. Apparently, if I convert to christianity, I am free to do anything I want. We are just trying to enlighten them to the truth, but they don't want to hear the truth. Yeah, that's it. I don't want to be called a liar/thief/adulterer/satan-worshipper because I just don't want to hear the truth. (there is some serious eye-rolling going on here.)

What's that verse about the darkness hating the light? John 3:19 maybe? This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. I hate this sort of analogy for the simple reason that porphyria makes UV light dangerous and painful. My skin burns and bubbles after very minimal exposure to sunlight, and that exposure sets off attacks that cause organ and nerve damage. For me, the darkness is safe, the light is dangerous.

On top of that, it's not exactly "don't judge" period. really? I thought that was rather clear. It's rather, don't judge unless you want to be held to the same standard. Too many times people try to cut it off after the don't judge part in order to justify themselves in their own eyes. In reality, we are to judge according to God's word, and that is to hold ourselves to the same standards that we hold others to: the standard of God's word.

ok, let's try another quote directly from their messiah. John 8:2-8

2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

Pretty clear to me. Jesus didn't say "go ahead and judge if you can live up to the standard you set for yourself", he said, "you're all sinners, so quit with the judging!" you know, Jesus must have spent most of his time frustrated. here he was, running around the desert, touching the unclean, repeatedly telling people to be nice and forgive and stop judging, and they kept right on being assholes. good thing nobody asked me to be the messiah.

Honeybee777 thanks everyone for helping her disobey her lord and savior: Thanks, all, for your help...what I really need to know is how to quickly and respectfully say this to someone I am witnessing to. It has come up before...and they don't want to hear doctrinal statements :-) maybe they're just a little more familiar with the teachings of jesus then you are, and are fairly annoyed about having to explain it to you. or, maybe NOBODY LIKES TO BE JUDGED. you know, possibly.

Watch in a Box

I heard this argument a few days ago, and it took me a while to figure out exactly why it is stupid.

It goes something like this: believing that the complexity of life as it exists on earth could have been brought into existence by some process other than the creation described in genesis would be like believing that the watch you are wearing was created by putting all the pieces for the watch in a box, shaking the box for 20 minutes and then pulling out a fully intact watch that gives the correct time.

At first, this seems a little hard to refute. That is impossible. (well, maybe not impossible, but certainly highly improbable.) Then I realized that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old (+/- 0.13 billion years), and there are about 4x10^79 hydrogen atoms in the Universe (just hydrogen atoms, and that's a conservative estimate!)

So, to make the watch analogy accurate, you would have to put the parts to 4,000,000,000,000,000,000 watches in a (really big!) box and shake it for at least 10 billion years. If you did not come out of that with at least one intact watch showing the correct time, I'd be really suprised.

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