Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 41745 times)

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #350 on: June 02, 2017, 10:36:34 AM »
Killing them is not acceptable
But beating them so long as they don't die within a day or two is fine.
Unless, of course, they lose an eye or a tooth from your beating, then you should let them go free.
I'm not sure where you are going with this line of discussion.  Are some pieces of the Bible uncomfortable?  Yes.  Do I find them uncomfortable?  Yes.  But as a Christian I would not do those things because they make me uncomfortable, where perhaps as a heathen I would have.  I make different choices now.  The Bible does not need to tell me not to own slaves, because the change within me creates virtually no desire to even do that.  It's not something I would contemplate.  I get that you would have like God to explicitly condemn this to make you feel better about the book or something, but he did not feel it necessary.  I get that because again, the Bible is not about getting you to be Christian, AS A WHOLE, it  is to help you as a Christian.  While PIECES of it talk about how someone who had slaves would deal with them, the Bible is not an abolitionist tract designed to teach me that slavery is bad.  I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.  If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #351 on: June 02, 2017, 10:40:31 AM »

He didn't teach them how to do it.  He did not say, "Go out in the street, find someone who cannot afford what you have, sell it to them, and then when they cannot pay, you shall enslave them."  He told people how to treat people they already had as slaves.  So to make the analogy in anyway parallel, my children would already need to be in possession of heroin when I told them how to treat it.  You'd have to remove your statement about me telling them how to get it.

Leviticus 25:44-45
"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.
Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you,
whom they will have [a]produced in your land; they also may become your possession.
"

Seems clear to me that is teaching us where we may acquire slaves from.
This is not only a reference to slaves we already have - it is saying 'you may have slaves, and here is where you can acquire them.'

Quote
But to answer your question "since he told us HOW to own people as property that he is okay with us owning people as property?" the answer to that is yes.  That does not mean he encourages it.

Fair enough - as I said above, at least you're consistent in your acceptance of biblical morality.
I happen to disagree with you and your God on that and will take the controversial stance that I am not okay with us owning other people as property.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 10:50:37 AM by MrDelane »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #352 on: June 02, 2017, 10:46:19 AM »
I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.

My point is that in this case the Bible is not silent (as you seem to insinuate).
In the case of slavery the bible does in fact 'provide clear direction.'
Very clear.

Quote
If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

To be clear, it is not because it has slavery in it, it is because portions of it are a manual for slavery.

Sailor Sam

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #353 on: June 02, 2017, 11:01:00 AM »
Killing them is not acceptable
But beating them so long as they don't die within a day or two is fine.
Unless, of course, they lose an eye or a tooth from your beating, then you should let them go free.
I'm not sure where you are going with this line of discussion.  Are some pieces of the Bible uncomfortable?  Yes.  Do I find them uncomfortable?  Yes.  But as a Christian I would not do those things because they make me uncomfortable, where perhaps as a heathen I would have.  I make different choices now.  The Bible does not need to tell me not to own slaves, because the change within me creates virtually no desire to even do that.  It's not something I would contemplate.  I get that you would have like God to explicitly condemn this to make you feel better about the book or something, but he did not feel it necessary.  I get that because again, the Bible is not about getting you to be Christian, AS A WHOLE, it  is to help you as a Christian.  While PIECES of it talk about how someone who had slaves would deal with them, the Bible is not an abolitionist tract designed to teach me that slavery is bad.  I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.  If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

Is that really your Christianity informing your heart, or is it your modern sensibilities?

Since the slavery question is so loaded, maybe the discipline of children would be a more productive example. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

It's easy to agree this proverb has maintained it's applicability into modernity. Letting your children live without discipline is not something a good guardian does. But the definition of a moral and effective discipline has certainly changed through the ages. The rod has increasingly become metaphorical, corporal punishment switched out for the time out bench. Even if you personally spanked, I'm assuming you didn't use the dunking chair or the public stocks.

Less nebulously, is the question of your transgender son. You, a modern man, won't support his transition but you don't protest it. You've said you see it as your duty as a loving parent. A man of 50 years ago might have seen true love in putting 'her' into a mental institution and using ECT to fix her up. A man of 100 years ago might have confined her a la The Yellow Wallpaper, or maybe had her uterus removed against her will. All Christian men, doing their Christian duty. But how can that duty change, if the bible is the literal word of God?

I'd postulate you're a man of the modern age. And Christian of the modern age has to preform some impressive mental contortions to continue thinking of the bible as the literal word of God. As many have pointed out, you've put a lot of thought into your faith, and you're very consistent. It's just that you're consistent in your contortions.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #354 on: June 02, 2017, 11:09:00 AM »

He didn't teach them how to do it.  He did not say, "Go out in the street, find someone who cannot afford what you have, sell it to them, and then when they cannot pay, you shall enslave them."  He told people how to treat people they already had as slaves.  So to make the analogy in anyway parallel, my children would already need to be in possession of heroin when I told them how to treat it.  You'd have to remove your statement about me telling them how to get it.

Leviticus 25:44-45
"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.
Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you,
whom they will have [a]produced in your land; they also may become your possession.
"

Seems clear to me that is teaching us where we may acquire slaves from.
This is not only a reference to slaves we already have - it is saying 'you may have slaves, and here is where you can acquire them.'

Quote
But to answer your question "since he told us HOW to own people as property that he is okay with us owning people as property?" the answer to that is yes.  That does not mean he encourages it.

Fair enough - as I said above, at least you're consistent in your acceptance of biblical morality.
I happen to disagree with you and your God on that and will take the controversial stance that I am not okay with us owning other people as property.
You a funny man.  I never said I'm OK with owning other people as property.  Again, I feel you are expanding what is said.

The example above no more tells me how to get a slave, than saying "you may acquire heroin from the street" would instruct my children.  Perhaps they would do out licking the road, but they'd likely not find heroin that way.  Similarly if the Israelites went to the border and crossed into the pagan nation, if they were looking for Slaves R Us, they would be looking a long time.  And once again, we've left context out where this was socially acceptable slavery for debts which you insist changes context, even though it is in the same paragraph.  Usually readily accepted that a paragraph encompasses one set of ideas, but if you want different rules for this, that's fine.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #355 on: June 02, 2017, 11:26:26 AM »
The example above no more tells me how to get a slave, than saying "you may acquire heroin from the street" would instruct my children.  Perhaps they would do out licking the road, but they'd likely not find heroin that way.  Similarly if the Israelites went to the border and crossed into the pagan nation, if they were looking for Slaves R Us, they would be looking a long time.  And once again, we've left context out where this was socially acceptable slavery for debts which you insist changes context, even though it is in the same paragraph.  Usually readily accepted that a paragraph encompasses one set of ideas, but if you want different rules for this, that's fine.

You are making quite a few contortions to get where you feel comfortable.  I feel my conclusions are pretty clear and would invite anyone else to opine on which they feel makes more sense given the text.
By the way, reading the bolded section within a paragraph that covers multiple points of argument is a bit ironic.

I am happy to go back to the text and break it down verse by verse, but I truly feel everyone here is getting tired of the minutae.
The section of Leviticus we're discussing uses a different word in verse 39 than it does in verse 44, drawing a distinction between the servant in 39 and the slaves in verse 44 (in fact, saying you should not treat the indebted servants as slaves).
I haven't dug into the Hebrew just yet, but I would be willing to wager we will see two distinct terms used in the original text - I don't have time to look it up right now as I'm at work, but if someone else wants to do it, I'd appreciate it.

paddedhat

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #356 on: June 02, 2017, 11:33:04 AM »
My wife's separation  from the Catholic Church was interesting. She was raised deep into the church. Catholic schooling, parents who tithed, and attended regularly, the whole works. Her first year of teaching was at a local Catholic elementary school. Most of the lay teachers fit into two categories, the ones that were just passing through, since they had no intent of being grossly underpaid, with laughable benefits, for an entire career. The ones that stayed lived as very poor folks, driving junk cars, hoping to find a way to pay for their kids education, barely getting buy. We visited more than one that was living one step above third world conditions. At the end of her first year, the Priest in charge announces that he is wasting too much on paying the teachers every two weeks and will now issue nine paychecks a year. In her case it was less than $900 each.   She was then contacted by the Catholic school that she attended, to interview for her next year. That school offers to hire her on the spot, and offers her ten percent less than the few coins she is currently making. She politely declines, which results in  Mother Superior scolding her for "not being dedicated enough to do god's will". This particular church was then in the middle of a scandal, as the priest would magically end the annual charities appeal, and end up with a new, very expensive car, every year. Not only a new car, but a mid-life crisis car,  like a Trans-AM. He also managed to find it in his heart to drop 1/4 million into a new home for his recently divorced sister. This was back when a typical new places went for $60-70K.

The final straw was relocating to a new area, with a good paying public school job, a husband and a baby boy. She met with the local priest, in the brand new mega-church, and asked about scheduling a baptism. The priest stated that, after the secretary scheduled the meeting, he reviewed her status. He then got very distraught about "the envelopes", and launched a fairly aggressive rant directed at a young lady holding an infant. As she became more upset and confused by his confrontational behavior, she told him that she had recently moved to the area, and didn't understand what he was so upset about. He then came right out and told her that, without a history of significant contributions to his church, there would be no baptism.

That was the beginning of the end for her. She got our son baptized at a big inner city Catholic Cathedral, sort of piggy back him on to a service that was being done for her brother's new baby, but that was the last interaction we had with any of the Catholic leadership. Haven't set foot in one except for funerals, and weddings, since then.

wenchsenior

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #357 on: June 02, 2017, 12:13:06 PM »
Killing them is not acceptable
But beating them so long as they don't die within a day or two is fine.
Unless, of course, they lose an eye or a tooth from your beating, then you should let them go free.
I'm not sure where you are going with this line of discussion.  Are some pieces of the Bible uncomfortable?  Yes.  Do I find them uncomfortable?  Yes. But as a Christian I would not do those things because they make me uncomfortable, where perhaps as a heathen I would have. I make different choices now.  The Bible does not need to tell me not to own slaves, because the change within me creates virtually no desire to even do that.  It's not something I would contemplate.  I get that you would have like God to explicitly condemn this to make you feel better about the book or something, but he did not feel it necessary.  I get that because again, the Bible is not about getting you to be Christian, AS A WHOLE, it  is to help you as a Christian.  While PIECES of it talk about how someone who had slaves would deal with them, the Bible is not an abolitionist tract designed to teach me that slavery is bad.  I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.  If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

I'm going to assume that by 'those things' you are not referring to the beating someone until they lose an eye or tooth. Because most 'heathens' such as myself have no trouble restraining themselves from actually doing that sort of thing, regardless of lack of faith or occasional intense impulses toward violence. Or do you actually believe that without your current faith you would be unable to control your violent and unethical impulses?

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #358 on: June 02, 2017, 12:20:59 PM »
And once again, we've left context out where this was socially acceptable slavery for debts which you insist changes context, even though it is in the same paragraph.


Alright - I went ahead and dug into it since you were so insistent that the subject does not change within that set of verses.
I am using your preferred translation as far as I understand it (NASB), and traced it back to the original hebrew.
Let's take it line by line.

Quote
LEV 25:39  "If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service."

This verse is clearly telling us that if a fellow countryman of ours sells himself to us to get out of debt we should NOT treat them as a slave, thus drawing a distinction between slaves and those indebted to us.
The word 'slave' is 'ebad' in the original Hebrew, which is defined as "slave/servant."

The subject here is our fellow countrymen, and we are being told told NOT to treat these fellow countrymen as 'ebed.'
Quote
LEV 25:40 "He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee."

Instead, we are told to treat the indebted servant as a 'hired man,' which came from the original Hebrew 'Sakiyr,' defined as "hired/laborer."
So there is a distinction being made between treating someone as a slave (ebed) or as a hired laborer (Sakiyr).
Quote
LEV 25:41 "He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. "

Once this indebted person's debts are worked off, they may return to their lives.
We are still talking about our fellow countrymen.

Quote
LEV 25:42  "For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale."

This is where it gets interesting - because we now have a distinction between OUR slaves/servants and GOD'S slaves/servants.
This verse clearly states that these indebted fellow countrymen are God's slaves, using the same Hebrew word 'ebed' in the original text.
So because of this we are not to sell them in a slave sale (again, using the word 'ebed').
Remember, this is all still referring to the original subjects from verse 39, our fellow countrymen.
They cannot be our 'ebed,' because they are God's 'ebed.'
We are to treat them as 'Sakiyr,' not 'ebed.'

Quote
LEV 25:43  "You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God."

Again, in reference to the indebted fellow countrymen of verse 39 who we were told not to treat as slaves ('ebed').
Quote
LEV 25:44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.

And this is where the shift in subject happens.  Now this verse is saying that in regards to the male and female 'ebed' (servants/slaves), you may get them from the surrounding nations.

Notice that in verse 39 we are told not to treat the indebted as 'ebed,' and now we are told we may acquire 'ebed' from the surrounding nations.
The same Hebrew word is used in verse 39 and 44, the distinction being drawn in verse 40 which uses a different word (Sakiyr) to tell us how to treat the indebted.
Clearly this is referring to two different classes of people.  We have now shifted to a new subject, our 'ebed' as opposed to our fellow countrymen.
 
The following two verses go on to clarify the distinction that it is only these foreigners that we may take as slaves, adding that even their children will become our property and we may pass them all along to our children.
BUT...(referring back to verse 39) our own countrymen will not be our slaves.
Quote
LEV 25:45-46  "Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition,
and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.

You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves.
But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another."


A distinction is clearly being drawn between two groups of people from verse 39 to 46.
The distinction is made clear at verse 39 & 40, while the shift of subject happens at verse 44.

One group is not to be enslaved, the other is permissible to enslave.

I'm not certain how you could possibly read it any other way.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 12:50:23 PM by MrDelane »

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #359 on: June 02, 2017, 12:45:02 PM »
Killing them is not acceptable
But beating them so long as they don't die within a day or two is fine.
Unless, of course, they lose an eye or a tooth from your beating, then you should let them go free.
I'm not sure where you are going with this line of discussion.  Are some pieces of the Bible uncomfortable?  Yes.  Do I find them uncomfortable?  Yes.  But as a Christian I would not do those things because they make me uncomfortable, where perhaps as a heathen I would have.  I make different choices now.  The Bible does not need to tell me not to own slaves, because the change within me creates virtually no desire to even do that.  It's not something I would contemplate.  I get that you would have like God to explicitly condemn this to make you feel better about the book or something, but he did not feel it necessary.  I get that because again, the Bible is not about getting you to be Christian, AS A WHOLE, it  is to help you as a Christian.  While PIECES of it talk about how someone who had slaves would deal with them, the Bible is not an abolitionist tract designed to teach me that slavery is bad.  I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.  If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

Is that really your Christianity informing your heart, or is it your modern sensibilities?

Since the slavery question is so loaded, maybe the discipline of children would be a more productive example. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

It's easy to agree this proverb has maintained it's applicability into modernity. Letting your children live without discipline is not something a good guardian does. But the definition of a moral and effective discipline has certainly changed through the ages. The rod has increasingly become metaphorical, corporal punishment switched out for the time out bench. Even if you personally spanked, I'm assuming you didn't use the dunking chair or the public stocks.

Less nebulously, is the question of your transgender son. You, a modern man, won't support his transition but you don't protest it. You've said you see it as your duty as a loving parent. A man of 50 years ago might have seen true love in putting 'her' into a mental institution and using ECT to fix her up. A man of 100 years ago might have confined her a la The Yellow Wallpaper, or maybe had her uterus removed against her will. All Christian men, doing their Christian duty. But how can that duty change, if the bible is the literal word of God?

I'd postulate you're a man of the modern age. And Christian of the modern age has to preform some impressive mental contortions to continue thinking of the bible as the literal word of God. As many have pointed out, you've put a lot of thought into your faith, and you're very consistent. It's just that you're consistent in your contortions.
No contortions are necessary as both of these are clear from the Bible.

First, it is necessary to understand what most skeptics, and I would assume most of the ones jumping on board here rarely take into account.  The Christian Bible was designed by God to be studied in it's entirety in order to be understood.  It cannot be looked at a verse or chapter at a time and then pointed to as endorsing mistreatment of children or of homosexuals as you are attempting to show.  In the same way when a child asks for help with their homework, you do not give them the answer, but help them with some information and have them go study, so to does God expect us to puzzle out what is to be done.  Another important point that is usually not understood is that the old covenant gave way very clearly and radically the new covenant when Jesus arrived.  The Bible contains writings that span a 1,500 year history during which time God dealt with his people differently.  Nearly everything in the Old Testament is no longer in effect after Jesus.  This is made most clear in Hebrews 8:13 "When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear."  Paul here is explaining that OT rules are obsolete under God's new covenant.  This is how the redemptive history works.

So in the case of discipline of the child with "spare the rod, spoil the child".  First a rod in those times (again context) was a thin stick or switch designed to inflict a little physical pain without lasting physical damage.  We then need to look at verses like Ephesians 6:4 we are taught to not abuse or power or authority over our children lest we provoke them to righteous anger.  Properly viewed as a whole any physical punishment is not to be so severe that we cause lasting and permanent damage to the child, it is only meant to be used in a way to guide obedience when discipline is administered in love to properly guide and never in anger our of frustration.  God also only disciplines His own.  This is a guide for us here as well, in that we are not to discipline other's children nor is a school or someone else to do that in place of us, it is our duty as parents to guide our children, but doing so with time out benches and other things that are not effective or with negotiations as many parents try and fail it does not work.  God's ways are there to teaches what works for a reason and he made it clear that at times physical punishment of a very tempered and measured sort if needed.  What I do to discipline my children, which on very rare occasions will result in a swat has not changed due to "modern sensibilities" as it has always been measured and appropriate. 

With regards to homosexuality and such, a full understanding of the Bible results in no issue.  Once again, while under the Law homosexuality, adultery and other offenses were punishable by death, because we are under a new covenant that is no longer true.  In fact in 1 Corinthians 5 Paul clearly shows a very similar situation of sexual sin that would be punishable by death.  But under the new dispensation, Paul does not encourage no even explore as a possibility, death but instead church discipline.  Properly used, church discipline involved increasing levels of rebuke, ultimately resulting in separating oneself from the individual if repeated attempts show them to not repent and believe.  It is also crucial to see that this only applies to professing Christians.  For non-Christians the last sentence makes if very clear that God will judge.  We are to do nothing.  This is what very clearly squares my stance.  I am to love my child who has gone down this path.  If they were a professing Christian, which they are not, we would speak with them about how their behavior does not align (this does not condone some Christians bizarre method of "pray the gay away").  As they are not a believer, it is between God and them and He will judge.  This would have been the proper response taught by Scripture since Jesus' time, so just because these are bozos like those you mentioned 50-100 years ago who improperly understood Scripture or perhaps worse, intentionally twisted it to justify their sinful actions, does not mean that God has a problem. 

So in both cases no contortions are necessary to be consistent.  All the behaviors that changed over the last few hundred years do not show that God has changed, it just shows some Christians do a piss poor job of studying and understanding their Bible, using a cursory approach like skeptics to pull what they want from it, or to just not take the proper time and effort to understand it.  Now in the case of the skeptic who does not believe, they have an excuse for getting it wrong because without the Holy Spirit to guide us, it is very difficult to discern God'w Word, but for a believer, it is really not excusable and I believe they will be held accountable before God for their actions. 

So taking this as is it Christianity informing my heart or just my modern sensibilities along with your slavery question, I do not know that there is a way to honestly answer that.  If presented with any of these situation in a different time would I behave as I do now?  I certainly believe I would, but I cannot prove that.  If I lived in Savannah, Georgia in 1830 and was a Christian would I follow the teachings of the Bible to love all men regardless of race or any other delineation, or would I use improper interpretation of the Bible to own a plantation and slaves and browbeat them into believing that God enforces their inferiority and tells me to enslave them?  Again, I believe I would do the same thing in all these situations as I do today, so that modern sensibilities have much less, if anything, to do with my actions than my desire to be like Jesus and serve him.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #360 on: June 02, 2017, 01:00:24 PM »
And once again, we've left context out where this was socially acceptable slavery for debts which you insist changes context, even though it is in the same paragraph.


Alright - I went ahead and dug into it since you were so insistent that the subject does not change within that set of verses.
I am using your preferred translation as far as I understand it (NASB), and traced it back to the original hebrew.
Let's take it line by line.

Quote
LEV 25:39  "If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service."

This verse is clearly telling us that if a fellow countryman of ours sells himself to us to get out of debt we should NOT treat them as a slave, thus drawing a distinction between slaves and those indebted to us.
The word 'slave' is 'ebad' in the original Hebrew, which is defined as "slave/servant."

The subject here is our fellow countrymen, and we are being told told NOT to treat these fellow countrymen as 'ebed.'
Quote
LEV 25:40 "He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee."

Instead, we are told to treat the indebted servant as a 'hired man,' which came from the original Hebrew 'Sakiyr,' defined as "hired/laborer."
So there is a distinction being made between treating someone as a slave (ebed) or as a hired laborer (Sakiyr).
Quote
LEV 25:41 "He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. "

Once this indebted person's debts are worked off, they may return to their lives.
We are still talking about our fellow countrymen.

Quote
LEV 25:42  "For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale."

This is where it gets interesting - because we now have a distinction between OUR slaves/servants and GOD'S slaves/servants.
This verse clearly states that these indebted fellow countrymen are God's slaves, using the same Hebrew word 'ebed' in the original text.
So because of this we are not to sell them in a slave sale (again, using the word 'ebed').
Remember, this is all still referring to the original subjects from verse 39, our fellow countrymen.
They cannot be our 'ebed,' because they are God's 'ebed.'
We are to treat them as 'Sakiyr,' not 'ebed.'

Quote
LEV 25:43  "You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God."

Again, in reference to the indebted fellow countrymen of verse 39 who we were told not to treat as slaves ('ebed').
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LEV 25:44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.

And this is where the shift in subject happens.  Now this verse is saying that in regards to the male and female 'ebed' (servants/slaves), you may get them from the surrounding nations.

Notice that in verse 39 we are told not to treat the indebted as 'ebed,' and now we are told we may acquire 'ebed' from the surrounding nations.
The same Hebrew word is used in verse 39 and 44, the distinction being drawn in verse 40 which uses a different word (Sakiyr) to tell us how to treat the indebted.
Clearly this is referring to two different classes of people.  We have now shifted to a new subject, our 'ebed' as opposed to our fellow countrymen.
 
The following two verses go on to clarify the distinction that it is only these foreigners that we may take as slaves, adding that even their children will become our property and we may pass them all along to our children.
BUT...(referring back to verse 39) our own countrymen will not be our slaves.
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LEV 25:45-46  "Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition,
and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.

You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves.
But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another."


A distinction is clearly being drawn between two groups of people from verse 39 to 46.
The distinction is made clear at verse 39, while the shift of subject happens at verse 44.

One group is not to be enslaved, the other is permissible to enslave.

I'm not certain how you could possibly read it any other way.
It is read another way because you are not to treat "indebted countryman" as slaves.  Just because the word order is different of there are words in between does not change the context of the sentence.  This is the difference in grammar and word order between Hebrew/English.  The entire paragraph is talking about people who could be slaves because of indebtedness.  God allow this for people from pagan countries but not for Hebrews, which are his slaves.  God often refers to believers as His slaves so the use of the same Hebrew word does not indicate anything because of MY slave and one is God's.  In both cases they are Hebrews, and my guess is you do not know this is common usage in the Bible.  I believe you feel the reference to God expands the population to Hebrew AND OTHER slaves. It does not. 

It was probably not intentional, but your change in what Sakiyr means helps you make you case, or cause your confusion, however you want to look at it.  And I do not speak Hebrew (I assume you do not either, but I know a Jewish person who does if we want to take it to that level and get a "new" translation) so I am taking your attachment of the words as what you found some where.  So if Sakiyr means "hired laborer", it does not have anything to do with indebtedness since I hired laborer is not indebted to me.  That would mean all my staff here at work are in some way indebted to be.  They are not.  If they perform work, I am obligated to pay them.  If they perform no work, I am not obligated to pay them, not do they have any obligation to perform work for me.  A 'hired laborer" is exchanging their work for money.

All this section says is that ALL of these people are indebted to me, but if they are Hebrew I do not treat them as indebted, which would allow me to demand they work for me as a slave, but that I treat them as a hired laborer because they are God's people like me.  IF I obtained an indebted pagan foreigner, I can keep them as a slave.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #361 on: June 02, 2017, 01:10:36 PM »
It is read another way because you are not to treat "indebted countryman" as slaves.
Pretty sure that is exactly what I said in my post - the entire point of the paragraph is you are not to treat indebted countrymen as slaves, but there are other people you ARE permitted to treat as slaves (the people from the Pagan nations). 


Quote
God allow this for people from pagan countries but not for Hebrews, which are his slaves.
Yeah, that's exactly what I was saying in my post.
(though there are ways for a Hebrew to be enslaved for life, but that's a whole other discussion).

Quote
God often refers to believers as His slaves so the use of the same Hebrew word does not indicate anything because of MY slave and one is God's.  In both cases they are Hebrews, and my guess is you do not know this is common usage in the Bible.  I believe you feel the reference to God expands the population to Hebrew AND OTHER slaves. It does not.

I have to be honest, I'm not even sure what you mean here, but I'm getting the feeling that you didn't understand what I wrote. 

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So if Sakiyr means "hired laborer", it does not have anything to do with indebtedness since I hired laborer is not indebted to me.  That would mean all my staff here at work are in some way indebted to be.  They are not.  If they perform work, I am obligated to pay them.  If they perform no work, I am not obligated to pay them, not do they have any obligation to perform work for me.  A 'hired laborer" is exchanging their work for money.

Right, the verse is saying you should treat the indebted fellow countrymen AS YOU WOULD a hired laborer, thus drawing a distinction between how we should treat our indebted countrymen and how we should treat our slaves.
I'm really not sure how this is at all unclear and I feel like we're saying the same thing.


Quote
All this section says is that ALL of these people are indebted to me, but if they are Hebrew I do not treat them as indebted, which would allow me to demand they work for me as a slave, but that I treat them as a hired laborer because they are God's people like me.  IF I obtained an indebted pagan foreigner, I can keep them as a slave.

Not sure where you got the idea that the pagan foreigner has to be indebted, because that is never stated, but other than that detail what you wrote is exactly what I said.



ETA:
Just for context and clarification - no I do not speak Hebrew, but I am very familiar with the Bible - having read it and studied it many times (both as a believer and a non-believer).


« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 01:13:24 PM by MrDelane »

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #362 on: June 02, 2017, 01:20:24 PM »
Not sure where you got the idea that the pagan foreigner has to be indebted, because that is never stated, but other than that detail what you wrote is exactly what I said.


Simply because in most study bibles the entire section for verse 35-46 is headed in a section titled "Of Poor Countrymen" or something similar thereby establishing that the context is everyone in these verses is poor.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #363 on: June 02, 2017, 01:26:10 PM »
Might or might not help but some added detail (which also shows the use the word 'slave' to mean 'brother' i.e. Heberew

On Being Your Brother’s (Slave) Keeper
(25:39-46)

The next two categories of poverty are much more serious and long-term. Rather than the temporary “cash flow” problem of the first category, this is a matter of real financial disaster. To put the matter in farming terms, if the first category is the result of a bad crop, the second two categories are the result of several disastrous years. The result was that the debtor would be forced to sell himself, either to a fellow-Israelite (vv. 39-46) or to a stranger (vv. 47-55).

We see a few instances in the Old Testament where this kind of slavery occurred or was threatened. One is found in the Book of 2 Kings, where we read, “Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves’” (2 Ki. 4:1). This sad story ends well, for Elisha had the woman and her sons gather vessels, into which he had her pour from her little jar of oil. These filled containers of oil paid her debt and provided means for income(cf. vv. 2-7).

In verses 39-46, God gave instructions to the Israelites as to how they should deal with an Israelite brother who became their slave due to dire poverty. It would seem that this man had no relatives who were willing to redeem him, since redemption by a family member is not mentioned. After all, if his family would have come to his rescue, his slavery would not have been necessary.

God’s instruction to the Israelite who would have attained such a “slave” was that his brother should not be treated as a slave. The assumption is that a slave would be dealt with more severely than a hired employee. Other texts bear this out. For example, we read: “A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response” (Prov. 29:19). The Israelites of Moses’ day did not need to be told how a slave was (mis)treated, they had ample experience at the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who were harsh taskmasters (cf. Exod. 1:8-14).

Instead, the Hebrew “slave” was to be treated with the dignity and respect of a “hired man,” who could have left his employment if he were not treated with dignity and fairness. Other biblical texts make it clear that this included being paid at the end of each day (Deut. 24:15). That kindness was to be genuine, full-measured, and continual is evidenced by the fact that provisions were made for the slave to continue as such for his lifetime (Exod. 21:5-6; Deut. 15:16-17).

When the year of Jubilee arrived (or, more commonly, the sabbath year, cf. Exod. 21:2-4), the slave was to be released, so that he could return to the property of his forefathers (Lev. 25:41). The reason for this is that the Israelites (including the distressed one who became the slave of his brother) became God’s servants (slaves) at the exodus, and no slave160 can have two masters. Revering God required obedience to this command (Lev. 25:43).

To further clarify the commandment of verses 39-43, God indicated that this did not prohibit slavery altogether (vv. 44-46). An Israelite could not be made a slave since he already was God’s slave (vv. 39-43), but since non-Israelites were not God’s slaves, they could become the possession of the Israelites. Later on, in Deuteronomy, God will specifically say that even non-Israelite slaves cannot be harshly161 treated (Deut. 24:14-15).

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #364 on: June 02, 2017, 01:31:55 PM »
Not sure where you got the idea that the pagan foreigner has to be indebted, because that is never stated, but other than that detail what you wrote is exactly what I said.


Simply because in most study bibles the entire section for verse 35-46 is headed in a section titled "Of Poor Countrymen" or something similar thereby establishing that the context is everyone in these verses is poor.

I have never heard that interpretation from anyone before, I'm not sure how common that reading is.
But, EVEN IF that were the case (which I do not think it is) then we're only clarifying to say that
according to God it is acceptable behavior to enslave indebted foreigners for life, keep them as property beat them so long as they don't die within 48 hours,
and pass them down to your own children, including any children the slaves may have while they are your property
(so now we also have babies born into slavery for life).

I find it strange that you're okay with that - and continue to want to focus on the fact that it says you shouldn't enslave your fellow countrymen the way you do other people, as if these instructions were a good thing.

It's as if someone said "You shouldn't beat your children the way you beat your wife,"
and then, when everyone around them say they find that statement outrageous they respond by saying,
"What's the big deal?  What I'm saying is a GOOD thing!  I said NOT to beat your kids the way you beat your wife."

At the end of the day, you're still saying it's okay to beat your wife.
(metaphorically, obviously)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 01:42:00 PM by MrDelane »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #365 on: June 02, 2017, 01:39:03 PM »
Might or might not help but some added detail (which also shows the use the word 'slave' to mean 'brother' i.e. Heberew

On Being Your Brother’s (Slave) Keeper
(25:39-46)

The next two categories of poverty are much more serious and long-term. Rather than the temporary “cash flow” problem of the first category, this is a matter of real financial disaster. To put the matter in farming terms, if the first category is the result of a bad crop, the second two categories are the result of several disastrous years. The result was that the debtor would be forced to sell himself, either to a fellow-Israelite (vv. 39-46) or to a stranger (vv. 47-55).

We see a few instances in the Old Testament where this kind of slavery occurred or was threatened. One is found in the Book of 2 Kings, where we read, “Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves’” (2 Ki. 4:1). This sad story ends well, for Elisha had the woman and her sons gather vessels, into which he had her pour from her little jar of oil. These filled containers of oil paid her debt and provided means for income(cf. vv. 2-7).

In verses 39-46, God gave instructions to the Israelites as to how they should deal with an Israelite brother who became their slave due to dire poverty. It would seem that this man had no relatives who were willing to redeem him, since redemption by a family member is not mentioned. After all, if his family would have come to his rescue, his slavery would not have been necessary.

God’s instruction to the Israelite who would have attained such a “slave” was that his brother should not be treated as a slave. The assumption is that a slave would be dealt with more severely than a hired employee. Other texts bear this out. For example, we read: “A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response” (Prov. 29:19). The Israelites of Moses’ day did not need to be told how a slave was (mis)treated, they had ample experience at the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who were harsh taskmasters (cf. Exod. 1:8-14).

Instead, the Hebrew “slave” was to be treated with the dignity and respect of a “hired man,” who could have left his employment if he were not treated with dignity and fairness. Other biblical texts make it clear that this included being paid at the end of each day (Deut. 24:15). That kindness was to be genuine, full-measured, and continual is evidenced by the fact that provisions were made for the slave to continue as such for his lifetime (Exod. 21:5-6; Deut. 15:16-17).

When the year of Jubilee arrived (or, more commonly, the sabbath year, cf. Exod. 21:2-4), the slave was to be released, so that he could return to the property of his forefathers (Lev. 25:41). The reason for this is that the Israelites (including the distressed one who became the slave of his brother) became God’s servants (slaves) at the exodus, and no slave160 can have two masters. Revering God required obedience to this command (Lev. 25:43).

To further clarify the commandment of verses 39-43, God indicated that this did not prohibit slavery altogether (vv. 44-46). An Israelite could not be made a slave since he already was God’s slave (vv. 39-43), but since non-Israelites were not God’s slaves, they could become the possession of the Israelites. Later on, in Deuteronomy, God will specifically say that even non-Israelite slaves cannot be harshly161 treated (Deut. 24:14-15).

I don't believe anything here contradicts anything I wrote.
We seem to have the same reading of these verses... I guess I just find the idea of God permitting slavery troubling.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #366 on: June 02, 2017, 02:06:52 PM »
Might or might not help but some added detail (which also shows the use the word 'slave' to mean 'brother' i.e. Heberew

On Being Your Brother’s (Slave) Keeper
(25:39-46)

The next two categories of poverty are much more serious and long-term. Rather than the temporary “cash flow” problem of the first category, this is a matter of real financial disaster. To put the matter in farming terms, if the first category is the result of a bad crop, the second two categories are the result of several disastrous years. The result was that the debtor would be forced to sell himself, either to a fellow-Israelite (vv. 39-46) or to a stranger (vv. 47-55).

We see a few instances in the Old Testament where this kind of slavery occurred or was threatened. One is found in the Book of 2 Kings, where we read, “Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves’” (2 Ki. 4:1). This sad story ends well, for Elisha had the woman and her sons gather vessels, into which he had her pour from her little jar of oil. These filled containers of oil paid her debt and provided means for income(cf. vv. 2-7).

In verses 39-46, God gave instructions to the Israelites as to how they should deal with an Israelite brother who became their slave due to dire poverty. It would seem that this man had no relatives who were willing to redeem him, since redemption by a family member is not mentioned. After all, if his family would have come to his rescue, his slavery would not have been necessary.

God’s instruction to the Israelite who would have attained such a “slave” was that his brother should not be treated as a slave. The assumption is that a slave would be dealt with more severely than a hired employee. Other texts bear this out. For example, we read: “A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response” (Prov. 29:19). The Israelites of Moses’ day did not need to be told how a slave was (mis)treated, they had ample experience at the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who were harsh taskmasters (cf. Exod. 1:8-14).

Instead, the Hebrew “slave” was to be treated with the dignity and respect of a “hired man,” who could have left his employment if he were not treated with dignity and fairness. Other biblical texts make it clear that this included being paid at the end of each day (Deut. 24:15). That kindness was to be genuine, full-measured, and continual is evidenced by the fact that provisions were made for the slave to continue as such for his lifetime (Exod. 21:5-6; Deut. 15:16-17).

When the year of Jubilee arrived (or, more commonly, the sabbath year, cf. Exod. 21:2-4), the slave was to be released, so that he could return to the property of his forefathers (Lev. 25:41). The reason for this is that the Israelites (including the distressed one who became the slave of his brother) became God’s servants (slaves) at the exodus, and no slave160 can have two masters. Revering God required obedience to this command (Lev. 25:43).

To further clarify the commandment of verses 39-43, God indicated that this did not prohibit slavery altogether (vv. 44-46). An Israelite could not be made a slave since he already was God’s slave (vv. 39-43), but since non-Israelites were not God’s slaves, they could become the possession of the Israelites. Later on, in Deuteronomy, God will specifically say that even non-Israelite slaves cannot be harshly161 treated (Deut. 24:14-15).

I don't believe anything here contradicts anything I wrote.
We seem to have the same reading of these verses... I guess I just find the idea of God permitting slavery troubling.
Responding to the last two posts together. 

Would I prefer it not be there?  Of course.  And I understand that it could have been "better" if it had not been.  But it's God's book, not mine.  I'm not OK with it, and I'm not defending it.  Just clearing up what it say.  I certainly acknowledge however you slice it, in today's context it is troubling.  I do also think you focused on select items.  In this post the last sentence points to Deuteronomy 24:14-15 which makes it clear that you cannot treat anyone, Israeli or foreign harshly.  Both books were written by Moses (Exodus which contains the 48 hour provision).  I have no idea, no do I think does anyone, but I'd understand that between those two texts, by the later they would not continue with those beatings.  It might have been 1 year it might have been 50.  I get that it does not matter, it is still troubling.

However, all those things were historical.  Rejecting the message and the value it has today is like saying "I hate the United States" because we had slaves.  The reality I live under is not that one and the United States is wonderful.  Would I have preferred we did not have a period in out history when we had slaves?  Yes.  Does it change my thoughts about the country.  Not at all.  Those were different people in different times and they are simply history points to me.  I do not see anything where God tells me today to go grab that guy in Australia that owes me money and make him my slave.  Just as the US actually encouraging slavery and running it as a legal business (which is more active than what the Bible does) does not stop me from embracing this country, neither does the fact that God told people how to treat slaves to avoid the things he felt important enough to command (not killing someone) keep me from embracing Him. 

So the fact that the Bible speaks about slavery is as relevant to me today as he fact that the Bible speaks about idol worshipers being punishable by death.  I'm not planning on building any golden calves to worship them and I'm not looking for any slaves.  These are not things that effect my faith or my life.  Maybe one day I can ask God why he gave instructions on how to keep slaves, and with the understanding I have of Him, I believe if I got to have that conversation I'd be floored with the answer being something I'd never have come up with in a trillion years.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #367 on: June 02, 2017, 02:17:48 PM »
Killing them is not acceptable
But beating them so long as they don't die within a day or two is fine.
Unless, of course, they lose an eye or a tooth from your beating, then you should let them go free.
I'm not sure where you are going with this line of discussion.  Are some pieces of the Bible uncomfortable?  Yes.  Do I find them uncomfortable?  Yes. But as a Christian I would not do those things because they make me uncomfortable, where perhaps as a heathen I would have. I make different choices now.  The Bible does not need to tell me not to own slaves, because the change within me creates virtually no desire to even do that.  It's not something I would contemplate.  I get that you would have like God to explicitly condemn this to make you feel better about the book or something, but he did not feel it necessary.  I get that because again, the Bible is not about getting you to be Christian, AS A WHOLE, it  is to help you as a Christian.  While PIECES of it talk about how someone who had slaves would deal with them, the Bible is not an abolitionist tract designed to teach me that slavery is bad.  I therefore do not sit there and say the Bible has a problem because it does not cover this from all angles.  There are a lot of things in my life that the Bible does not provide clear direction on.  I am then to use discernment using what it does teach me so make a decision that I am struggling with.  If you want to argue that the Bible should just be thrown out because slavery is in it, I get that view.  I just don't agree with it.

I'm going to assume that by 'those things' you are not referring to the beating someone until they lose an eye or tooth. Because most 'heathens' such as myself have no trouble restraining themselves from actually doing that sort of thing, regardless of lack of faith or occasional intense impulses toward violence. Or do you actually believe that without your current faith you would be unable to control your violent and unethical impulses?
The statement simply means as a Christian I do not do things I might have done otherwise. 

I'd like to think that most people would not get very violent.  There is certainly value to being accountable to someone other than yourself.  Many Christian men still struggle with sexual urges.   A visiting pastor whose wife and he led a marriage conference at our church in April spoke about how his wife checks his phone and computer each month because he knows Satan still draws him to pornography.  Would the guy in Portland who felt it was OK to stab and kill two people in the neck have thought differently and been able to control his impulse if Jesus was His savior?  Maybe.  We are all tempted by certain things, the size of which in human terms may vary, but with God all is equal.  I am worthy of death for telling a white lie as much as if I murdered a dozen people. There is no question of degree with God.  Initially a a baby Christian, that fear of God is the only thing that makes people think twice, but over time you just find that it is not even something that enters your mind.  I do believe that without my current faith my thoughts would be vastly different than they are today.  Man is too selfish to not have that creep in and grow without help.  Society moves the line all the time on what is OK, God does not, and I find that changes people.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #368 on: June 02, 2017, 02:19:00 PM »
However, all those things were historical.  Rejecting the message and the value it has today is like saying "I hate the United States" because we had slaves.  The reality I live under is not that one and the United States is wonderful.  Would I have preferred we did not have a period in out history when we had slaves?  Yes.  Does it change my thoughts about the country.  Not at all.  Those were different people in different times and they are simply history points to me.

The difference is no one claims the laws of the United States are the basis of morality, perfect or unchanging.

So - if slavery was moral then... is it still moral today?
If not, then does morality change?
Did God change his mind?

I'm not asking these things to be a pain in the ass - they are sincere questions that are raised from this.
It's not just that the provisions of slavery are troubling, it's that it either points to a changing foundation of morality or we must accept that it is still moral today.  Either outcome is a difficult one to accept for a believer.


Quote
I do not see anything where God tells me today to go grab that guy in Australia that owes me money and make him my slave.

But again, morality is absolute and constant - is it not?
If he permitted it then, why would he not permit it now?
Was it moral back then but immoral now?

How do you reconcile the immutability of God with a shifting morality?

Quote
Just as the US actually encouraging slavery and running it as a legal business (which is more active than what the Bible does) does not stop me from embracing this country, neither does the fact that God told people how to treat slaves to avoid the things he felt important enough to command (not killing someone) keep me from embracing Him.

But again, the US is not claimed to be the perfect and unchanging source of morality.

Quote
Maybe one day I can ask God why he gave instructions on how to keep slaves, and with the understanding I have of Him, I believe if I got to have that conversation I'd be floored with the answer being something I'd never have come up with in a trillion years.

If so, please let me know, because I'm very curious.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #369 on: June 02, 2017, 02:44:16 PM »
However, all those things were historical.  Rejecting the message and the value it has today is like saying "I hate the United States" because we had slaves.  The reality I live under is not that one and the United States is wonderful.  Would I have preferred we did not have a period in out history when we had slaves?  Yes.  Does it change my thoughts about the country.  Not at all.  Those were different people in different times and they are simply history points to me.

The difference is no one claims the laws of the United States are the basis of morality, perfect or unchanging.

So - if slavery was moral then... is it still moral today?
If not, then does morality change?
Did God change his mind?

I'm not asking these things to be a pain in the ass - they are sincere questions that are raised from this.
It's not just that the provisions of slavery are troubling, it's that it either points to a changing foundation of morality or we must accept that it is still moral today.  Either outcome is a difficult one to accept for a believer.


Quote
I do not see anything where God tells me today to go grab that guy in Australia that owes me money and make him my slave.

But again, morality is absolute and constant - is it not?
If he permitted it then, why would he not permit it now?
Was it moral back then but immoral now?

How do you reconcile the immutability of God with a shifting morality?

Quote
Just as the US actually encouraging slavery and running it as a legal business (which is more active than what the Bible does) does not stop me from embracing this country, neither does the fact that God told people how to treat slaves to avoid the things he felt important enough to command (not killing someone) keep me from embracing Him.

But again, the US is not claimed to be the perfect and unchanging source of morality.

Quote
Maybe one day I can ask God why he gave instructions on how to keep slaves, and with the understanding I have of Him, I believe if I got to have that conversation I'd be floored with the answer being something I'd never have come up with in a trillion years.

If so, please let me know, because I'm very curious.
Well, I'd be in heaven so not sure how we'd hook up even if we were both there.

I don't have what I feel is a good answer for you.  As I think "out keyboard", one one hand I could say God does not view it as a moral issue, and it just is.  Another possibility is that it is just not important enough to care.  After all to God, this life here has virtually no purpose other than to give us the opportunity for salvation.  What happens to us here is irrelevant to a being that is eternal and focused on much bigger things.  To that end I certainly agree with the common view, that God does not care about us.  He only cares that we have the chance to accept his saving grace.  Therefore the human condition, be it as a master or a slave is just not worth mentioning.  I do not think He thinks it's was or is a good thing and is not a bad thing.  Perhaps he just does not care about it.  It's just some stupid thing people decided to do and as long as we avoid breaking any commandments like "Thou shalt not kill" with it he figures whatever. 

So would He permit me to take an economic slave now?  I really cannot argue against your stance that He would.  The challenge is that the Bible is not very clear on slavery, though it is very clear that you cannot kidnap people and make them slaves.  I assume you are familiar with those verses.  It only seems to not address as "not allowed" economic slavery that we have been discussing.  So in the end I can't tell you why God included it here and I realize this is one of the biggest unknowns that most point to.


MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #370 on: June 02, 2017, 03:07:32 PM »
Well, I'd be in heaven so not sure how we'd hook up even if we were both there.
I appreciate the sentiment, but I think we both know I wouldn't be there.
:)

Quote
I don't have what I feel is a good answer for you.  As I think "out keyboard", one one hand I could say God does not view it as a moral issue, and it just is.  Another possibility is that it is just not important enough to care.  After all to God, this life here has virtually no purpose other than to give us the opportunity for salvation.  What happens to us here is irrelevant to a being that is eternal and focused on much bigger things.  To that end I certainly agree with the common view, that God does not care about us.  He only cares that we have the chance to accept his saving grace.  Therefore the human condition, be it as a master or a slave is just not worth mentioning.  I do not think He thinks it's was or is a good thing and is not a bad thing.  Perhaps he just does not care about it.  It's just some stupid thing people decided to do and as long as we avoid breaking any commandments like "Thou shalt not kill" with it he figures whatever. So would He permit me to take an economic slave now?  I really cannot argue against your stance that He would.

Fair enough - though he cared enough to say 'at least don't enslave your fellow countrymen.
So he does have SOME opinion on it.

But sure, in the end I guess you have to accept that slavery is simply an amoral issue at best, or moral at worst.
As I said before, I appreciate that you are at least consistent - most people are not.
Personally I can't accept either of those outcomes.

I realize my opinion on the subject has no bearing on the truth of whether or not this God exists.
But I'm not about to spend my life worshiping a God that is alright with telling us under which conditions we may enslave eachother.

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The challenge is that the Bible is not very clear on slavery, though it is very clear that you cannot kidnap people and make them slaves.  I assume you are familiar with those verses.
I'm familiar with verses in Exodus which specify the laws for the Hebrews (much like in Leviticus), stating that the penalty for kidnapping is death.
I'm not familiar with any edict against slavery specifically in there, or that specifies foreign people should not be kidnapped.

From what I can tell most of the slaves referred to in the bible (aside from the 'indebted servants' we already talked about) were either purchased at slave trades, or captured during war.
(I'm talking about foreign slaves here, not the hebrew slaves for which there are different rules).

I suppose we could continue to take slaves through conquest, at least, since we don't have an actual slave market any more.

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in the end I can't tell you why God included it here and I realize this is one of the biggest unknowns that most point to.

I wasn't really looking for a 'why,' just wondering how you dealt with the obvious implications of it - which you've answered.
Thanks for that.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 03:21:59 PM by MrDelane »

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #371 on: June 02, 2017, 05:17:30 PM »
Well, I'd be in heaven so not sure how we'd hook up even if we were both there.
I appreciate the sentiment, but I think we both know I wouldn't be there.
:)

Quote
I don't have what I feel is a good answer for you.  As I think "out keyboard", one one hand I could say God does not view it as a moral issue, and it just is.  Another possibility is that it is just not important enough to care.  After all to God, this life here has virtually no purpose other than to give us the opportunity for salvation.  What happens to us here is irrelevant to a being that is eternal and focused on much bigger things.  To that end I certainly agree with the common view, that God does not care about us.  He only cares that we have the chance to accept his saving grace.  Therefore the human condition, be it as a master or a slave is just not worth mentioning.  I do not think He thinks it's was or is a good thing and is not a bad thing.  Perhaps he just does not care about it.  It's just some stupid thing people decided to do and as long as we avoid breaking any commandments like "Thou shalt not kill" with it he figures whatever. So would He permit me to take an economic slave now?  I really cannot argue against your stance that He would.

Fair enough - though he cared enough to say 'at least don't enslave your fellow countrymen.
So he does have SOME opinion on it.

But sure, in the end I guess you have to accept that slavery is simply an amoral issue at best, or moral at worst.
As I said before, I appreciate that you are at least consistent - most people are not.
Personally I can't accept either of those outcomes.

I realize my opinion on the subject has no bearing on the truth of whether or not this God exists.
But I'm not about to spend my life worshiping a God that is alright with telling us under which conditions we may enslave eachother.

Quote
The challenge is that the Bible is not very clear on slavery, though it is very clear that you cannot kidnap people and make them slaves.  I assume you are familiar with those verses.
I'm familiar with verses in Exodus which specify the laws for the Hebrews (much like in Leviticus), stating that the penalty for kidnapping is death.
I'm not familiar with any edict against slavery specifically in there, or that specifies foreign people should not be kidnapped.

From what I can tell most of the slaves referred to in the bible (aside from the 'indebted servants' we already talked about) were either purchased at slave trades, or captured during war.
(I'm talking about foreign slaves here, not the hebrew slaves for which there are different rules).

I suppose we could continue to take slaves through conquest, at least, since we don't have an actual slave market any more.

Quote
in the end I can't tell you why God included it here and I realize this is one of the biggest unknowns that most point to.

I wasn't really looking for a 'why,' just wondering how you dealt with the obvious implications of it - which you've answered.
Thanks for that.
I am going to toss this one at my pastor and see what his response is.  One I've never talked with him about.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #372 on: June 02, 2017, 06:13:02 PM »
I am going to toss this one at my pastor and see what his response is.  One I've never talked with him about.

My guess is that it will be in the 'slavery was different then' family of explanations, which does not truly address the concept of owning another human being as property.  But that's just a guess based on what seems to be the most common interpretation.

I'll be very curious to hear what he has to say.
Please let me know.

Father Dougal

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #373 on: June 03, 2017, 12:37:30 PM »
I am going to toss this one at my pastor and see what his response is.  One I've never talked with him about.

My guess is that it will be in the 'slavery was different then' family of explanations, which does not truly address the concept of owning another human being as property.  But that's just a guess based on what seems to be the most common interpretation.

I'll be very curious to hear what he has to say.
Please let me know.

As I've said before, I think the real value in this type of discussion is clarifying the beliefs people hold.

On slavery, it is clear that MrDelane thinks it is wrong and that the Bible says that God allows slavery.  Caracarn believes that God allows slavery because what is in the Bible is true, and although we cannot know His mind, it is acceptable for Him to allow slavery.

What is not yet clear to me is whether the American and West Indian plantation slavery could follow God's rules and therefore be acceptable.  After all, that is what the slaves were told (your life is awful now, but you've got paradise coming after you die - that sort of thing).

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #374 on: June 03, 2017, 12:53:22 PM »
As I've said before, I think the real value in this type of discussion is clarifying the beliefs people hold.

I would agree, though I would add that the 'why' is equally important (and what I really find telling).  What we believe is interesting, but on its own it is really just trivia - but once we understand 'why' we each believe what we do then things become much more interesting (to me anyhow).

What is not yet clear to me is whether the American and West Indian plantation slavery could follow God's rules and therefore be acceptable.  After all, that is what the slaves were told (your life is awful now, but you've got paradise coming after you die - that sort of thing).

The bible was used by both sides of the slavery debate in the United States to defend their position (unsurprisingly,  I think the proponents of slavery had a stronger Biblical foundation).

In fact, it was the issue of slavery and how it relates to Baptists that led to the split that gave us the Southern Baptist Convention (which today has over 15 million members... most of whom hopefully no longer support slavery even if their origins and Bible do).
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 12:58:37 PM by MrDelane »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #375 on: June 03, 2017, 02:54:38 PM »
So the fact that the Bible speaks about slavery is as relevant to me today as he fact that the Bible speaks about idol worshipers being punishable by death.

"Idol worshipers" mean anyone that believes in a non-Christian god.  We'll give Jews and Muslims a pass, but other religions account for about 2 billion 'idol worshipers'.  If god was OK with slavery, he was also ok with killing idol worshipers. 

If it was OK back then, it must be OK now.  After all, the bible is the inerrant word of god (unless you get a bad translation - evidently god can't ensure good translations consistently).

At least nowadays the bible is translated into local languages (English, French, Spanish, etc) so we can see this silliness and danger for ourselves. 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 02:57:36 PM by tyort1 »
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Lepetitange3

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #376 on: June 03, 2017, 03:01:42 PM »
I suppose religiously it depends.  If the group you subscribe to views the Bible as totally the word of God, writers "inspired" by God, or simply a written record if things involving God.  Theres a lot of variation in there, and there has been historically as well.  Different sects of different religions that utilize holy texts have differing opinions of how exactly "holy" and unequivocally from God the entirety of the text is.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #377 on: June 03, 2017, 03:06:31 PM »
I suppose religiously it depends.  If the group you subscribe to views the Bible as totally the word of God, writers "inspired" by God, or simply a written record if things involving God.  Theres a lot of variation in there, and there has been historically as well.  Different sects of different religions that utilize holy texts have differing opinions of how exactly "holy" and unequivocally from God the entirety of the text is.

Oh, my post above was in response to the discussion of Pascale's Wager above, and Caracarn's assertion that "why not believe, there's only upsides and zero downsides".  Which is patently false, as the history of religion demonstrates. 
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Lepetitange3

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #378 on: June 03, 2017, 03:12:20 PM »
Well caracarn's assertion is reasonably valid in terms of modern western religion (ie: the way religion in society tends to work now).  Historically, there's obviously been lots of downsides to believing.  Further negative points on that if you were Jewish.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #379 on: June 03, 2017, 03:14:33 PM »
Well caracarn's assertion is reasonably valid in terms of modern western religion (ie: the way religion in society tends to work now).  Historically, there's obviously been lots of downsides to believing.  Further negative points on that if you were Jewish.

Modern western religion got us Trump elected.  It's also the driving force behind Brexit and a whole host of fascist parties on the rise in europe.  Modern religion is NOT harmless.
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Lepetitange3

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #380 on: June 03, 2017, 04:19:40 PM »
I think he's referencing harmless in terms of personal rather than public ethos.  I also don't think I'd lay Trump or Brexit at the door of religion.  I think doing so glosses over a much more complex phenomena.

MasterStache

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #381 on: June 03, 2017, 05:54:42 PM »
I think he's referencing harmless in terms of personal rather than public ethos.

Living in a constant state of perpetual fear certainly isn't something I would consider harmless.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #382 on: June 03, 2017, 08:04:22 PM »
I think he's referencing harmless in terms of personal rather than public ethos.  I also don't think I'd lay Trump or Brexit at the door of religion.  I think doing so glosses over a much more complex phenomena.

Well it's certainly not the relatively agnostic Left that's driving Trump/Brexit/Nationalism/Fascism.  Whatever the 'complexity' it's originating from the Right.  And it's cultural anxiety not economic anxiety, which lays it pretty squarely at the feet of the social conservative, ie the religious folk. 

Who cares if it religious ethics aligns with a persons ethics, it's still a pubic menace.
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Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #383 on: June 03, 2017, 09:03:03 PM »
I think he's referencing harmless in terms of personal rather than public ethos.

Living in a constant state of perpetual fear certainly isn't something I would consider harmless.
Nor would I consider beliefs that prevent you from supporting your own child for who they are harmless.

Father Dougal

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #384 on: June 04, 2017, 03:44:40 AM »
As I've said before, I think the real value in this type of discussion is clarifying the beliefs people hold.

I would agree, though I would add that the 'why' is equally important (and what I really find telling).  What we believe is interesting, but on its own it is really just trivia - but once we understand 'why' we each believe what we do then things become much more interesting (to me anyhow).


I agree the "why" is more interesting.  I tried that with Caracarn, but did not get an answer I found very convincing.  The beliefs themselves, clearly stated, on their own are very revealing.  They are often unchallenged, or wrapped up in thousands of words of waffle (sound familiar?).  Once we have confirmed that someone believes, among other things, that the universe is less than 10,000 years old, people who don't believe in Jesus will be tortured by fire for eternity, Adam and Eve (and Noah's flood) are literally true, and God issues rules for slavery, the question of "why do you believe this" becomes so much more powerful.  Unfortunately the answer tends to be "because God says it is true and he can do magic".  Another interesting question would be "why do you not believe that the universe is more than 10,000 years old", but I fear the answer would be the same.

The reason I think that the beliefs themselves are so important is that when they are so clearly shown, without the waffle and confusion that normally surround them, it is much easier to look at them dispassionately and decide if they sound reasonable.

We live in a time (or perhaps we always have) where odd beliefs are prompting people to do horrendous things.  People believe the statement "if I murder children at an Ariana Grande concert, God will reward me in heaven with a collection of virgins".  Why? Because God said so.  Most religious people would agree that that statement is insane and that the people who believe it are normally brainwashed inadequates. 

What about the statement: "Non-Christian children who died in that attack are now being tortured in Hell for eternity"?  Caracarn would believe that, and he has explained his position.  The "why" will never make sense to you and me.  In fact, Caracarn himself has said he finds some parts of his belief "troubling", so perhaps there isn't really a "why".  It just is what it is.  My hope is that people who have that belief will at least look at it again and consider if it is reasonable.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 04:32:47 AM by Father Dougal »

DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #385 on: June 05, 2017, 09:42:18 AM »
I can't make sense of a certain wrong prediction Jesus made in the 3 synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  To summarize it, he describes the end times and emphatically assures his followers it will happen in their lifetimes.  Christian scholars have wiggled out of it by saying that in Jesus' words "this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened", generation actually refers to the generation of believers.  This doesn't make sense to me at all. 

I haven't read this thread, but to the OP's original statement above: I see no contradiction or problem with Jesus' statement here. The Greek word used in this passage doesn't mean "generation" in the way we use it in English today. The Bible version I use (NIV) even specifically footnotes that word to give an alternative translation as "race", as in referring to a whole class of people. That word is used elsewhere in the Bible to refer to the Jews as "the chosen race" or chosen people. So Jesus could easily be saying that this "race" or the set of believers or Jewish people or humanity will not pass away until these things happen.

Also, in the verses immediately preceding that statement by Jesus, he refers to a whole raft of future events that will take place before the end times -- nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, earthquakes at various places across the world, the appearance of numerous false prophets, and so on. He goes on to say this will be the beginning of the signs, then more things will occur, heavenly bodies shaken, etc. I don't think it makes sense that Jesus would be predicting all these things to happen in a relatively short span of, say, 25 - 40 years for the people who were living at the time. Especially since he also says no one except God the Father knows when it will all happen, but it will come at an unexpected time like a thief in the night.

Finally, consider this: The gospels were written well after Jesus' death, I think likely well after that "generation" was already dead and gone. Why would such a glaring contradiction or mistake, if there was one, be published if they were trying to make the (false) claim that Jesus was the Christ? Certainly they would have chosen to conveniently edit out or omit that statement if they believed it to be so problematic or contradictory.
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J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #386 on: June 05, 2017, 10:43:07 AM »
I can't make sense of a certain wrong prediction Jesus made in the 3 synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  To summarize it, he describes the end times and emphatically assures his followers it will happen in their lifetimes.  Christian scholars have wiggled out of it by saying that in Jesus' words "this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened", generation actually refers to the generation of believers.  This doesn't make sense to me at all. 

I haven't read this thread, but to the OP's original statement above: I see no contradiction or problem with Jesus' statement here. The Greek word used in this passage doesn't mean "generation" in the way we use it in English today. The Bible version I use (NIV) even specifically footnotes that word to give an alternative translation as "race", as in referring to a whole class of people. That word is used elsewhere in the Bible to refer to the Jews as "the chosen race" or chosen people. So Jesus could easily be saying that this "race" or the set of believers or Jewish people or humanity will not pass away until these things happen.

Also, in the verses immediately preceding that statement by Jesus, he refers to a whole raft of future events that will take place before the end times -- nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, earthquakes at various places across the world, the appearance of numerous false prophets, and so on. He goes on to say this will be the beginning of the signs, then more things will occur, heavenly bodies shaken, etc. I don't think it makes sense that Jesus would be predicting all these things to happen in a relatively short span of, say, 25 - 40 years for the people who were living at the time. Especially since he also says no one except God the Father knows when it will all happen, but it will come at an unexpected time like a thief in the night.

Finally, consider this: The gospels were written well after Jesus' death, I think likely well after that "generation" was already dead and gone. Why would such a glaring contradiction or mistake, if there was one, be published if they were trying to make the (false) claim that Jesus was the Christ? Certainly they would have chosen to conveniently edit out or omit that statement if they believed it to be so problematic or contradictory.

Doubledown, thanks for engaging with me on my major sticking point with Christianity.  I made my point in a very concise way as I figured most wouldn't be that interested in the passage.  I hope you'll stick with me as I argue some of your points. 

I think the "generation = race" argument is pretty weak.  This is the first explanation I encountered and it doesn't pass the smell test.  I couldn't find any other passage where "race" would make more sense than "generation" in either OT (which would be Hebrew, not Greek, but since you mentioned Jews as the chosen people I figured I'd include OT) or NT.  There were however, countless examples where "generation" is used in the way it is commonly understood.  Link to Christian websites exploring this word below:

https://www.logosapostolic.org/hebrew-word-studies/1755-dor-generation.htm
https://www.logosapostolic.org/greek-word-studies/1074-genea-generation.htm

Why don't you think it would make sense for Jesus to be making a prediction that would happen within 25-40 years?  If someone is going to predict all these incredible events, how does a longer timeline make them more realistic? And indeed, some incredible events did happen in about 40 years - The destruction of the temple in 70AD, which was a monumentally earth shattering event for the Jews at the time.  Perhaps Jesus rightly sensed his times were very turbulent, and made a false prediction about them. 

Yes, the synoptic Gospels were written after Jesus' death.  But not that long after.  Mark was written around 66-70AD, Matthew around 80-90AD, and Luke around 80-100AD accordingly to most scholars.  Paul was convinced he was living in the end times.  Most early Christians were.  It was a very apocalyptic time, partially thanks, in my opinion, to Jesus' olivet discourse.


DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #387 on: June 05, 2017, 09:46:11 PM »
I'm certainly no biblical or greek scholar, but here's what I've found in reference to the "generation" word (Greek γενεά) as used in the bible:

γενεά
Strong's Concordance:
Definition: "race, family, generation. If repeated twice or with another time word, practically indicates infinity of time"

Substituting the word "race" or "family" in the statement in question would give all kinds of different meaning, wouldn't you agree? As in, "this race will not pass away until all these things have happened" or "this family will not pass away until all these things have happened." I could imagine Jesus using any of these meanings to convey that mankind, or his believers, or his followers, or the Jewish (chosen) people, or... will not pass away before these things happen and he returns.

I guess I just don't understand inferring a super-literal interpretation of the Greek word to mean generation -- "happening between a person's birth and the birth of their own child," which is how I think of a generation. Like my parents were the Baby Boomers generation, born around born around 1945 - 1964, Gen X is 1965 - 1980-something,  Millennials are 1980-something to now. I figured a span of 25-40 years was being generous -- the time between generations was no doubt much shorter in Jesus' time, with women giving birth in their teens and 20s instead of waiting until 30s and 40s.

So, my point was that Jesus would not likely predict all these literally earth-shattering events to take place in that short of a time span. When you're talking about kingdoms rising against kingdoms, nations against nations, earthquakes, etc., those things take time to develop and wouldn't be expected to happen in that short of a time span. Sure, he was talking in apocalyptic terms and crazy stuff was happening, but it doesn't seem reasonable to me for Jesus to predict that kind of upheaval all in such a specific, short time span. At that rate, he might as well have just said, "It will happen in 16.5 years." And these things are just the first signs; there's all kinds of stuff that has to happen subsequently before Christ returns that would really make it hard to pack it all in.

Here's like a billion references to the word as it appears in the Bible, with all kinds of different nuances and meanings (they clearly don't all mean "generation" as we typically use it today, in English):

http://biblehub.com/greek/1074.htm
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J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #388 on: June 06, 2017, 12:01:02 PM »
I'm certainly no biblical or greek scholar, but here's what I've found in reference to the "generation" word (Greek γενεά) as used in the bible:

γενεά
Strong's Concordance:
Definition: "race, family, generation. If repeated twice or with another time word, practically indicates infinity of time"

Substituting the word "race" or "family" in the statement in question would give all kinds of different meaning, wouldn't you agree? As in, "this race will not pass away until all these things have happened" or "this family will not pass away until all these things have happened." I could imagine Jesus using any of these meanings to convey that mankind, or his believers, or his followers, or the Jewish (chosen) people, or... will not pass away before these things happen and he returns.

I guess I just don't understand inferring a super-literal interpretation of the Greek word to mean generation -- "happening between a person's birth and the birth of their own child," which is how I think of a generation. Like my parents were the Baby Boomers generation, born around born around 1945 - 1964, Gen X is 1965 - 1980-something,  Millennials are 1980-something to now. I figured a span of 25-40 years was being generous -- the time between generations was no doubt much shorter in Jesus' time, with women giving birth in their teens and 20s instead of waiting until 30s and 40s.

So, my point was that Jesus would not likely predict all these literally earth-shattering events to take place in that short of a time span. When you're talking about kingdoms rising against kingdoms, nations against nations, earthquakes, etc., those things take time to develop and wouldn't be expected to happen in that short of a time span. Sure, he was talking in apocalyptic terms and crazy stuff was happening, but it doesn't seem reasonable to me for Jesus to predict that kind of upheaval all in such a specific, short time span. At that rate, he might as well have just said, "It will happen in 16.5 years." And these things are just the first signs; there's all kinds of stuff that has to happen subsequently before Christ returns that would really make it hard to pack it all in.

Here's like a billion references to the word as it appears in the Bible, with all kinds of different nuances and meanings (they clearly don't all mean "generation" as we typically use it today, in English):

http://biblehub.com/greek/1074.htm

Doubledown, I don't find that argument very persuasive.  Jesus was asked point blank, Master, when will these things happen and what sign will there be? So his response, understood as meaning this current generation, makes perfect sense, as an answer to the question.  But it doesn't make sense if you understand generation to mean race/believers, because that has nothing to do with the question of when.  He provides plenty of signs, so clearly he is not ignoring that question.  Why would he ignore the question of when by giving a non-answer?


Ironically enough, the biblehub link you sent specifically mentions Matthew 24:34 (Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away..) as an instance where generation means "the whole multitude of men living at the same time".

Can you understand why I have a hard time believing Jesus meant something other than what he seemed to say? I believe I've heard all the alternative arguments, and I've approached them with an open mind.  I would prefer to remain faithfully Catholic for social/family reasons as I mentioned earlier but I can't help but see motivated reasoning when Christian bible scholars offer scriptural explanations.  Of course they will interpret the scriptures in the most Christian-friendly way in every possible situation, any else might invalidate everything they've based their lives and careers upon.


tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #389 on: June 06, 2017, 12:19:45 PM »
Jesus means exactly what he says, except when what he plainly stated doesn't come to pass.  In those cases, we need to consult the original Hebrew and look for wiggle room.
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DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #390 on: June 06, 2017, 02:21:05 PM »
Jesus was asked point blank, Master, when will these things happen and what sign will there be? So his response, understood as meaning this current generation, makes perfect sense, as an answer to the question.  But it doesn't make sense if you understand generation to mean race/believers, because that has nothing to do with the question of when.  He provides plenty of signs, so clearly he is not ignoring that question.  Why would he ignore the question of when by giving a non-answer?

I don't think he gave a non-answer at all; he gave the very answer they needed with the information Jesus knew! Recall that Jesus acknowledges several time that he himself does not know when the end will come. He tells them in the very next verses, "If the owner of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." His point is to remain faithful and vigilant without knowing the time it will happen.

Wouldn't it be completely contrary, then, to say to them, "But on the down-low I'm telling you it will happen on March 23, 54 AD" or any other kind of time-based prediction including "during the time of people currently living"? It would completely invalidate the whole point of his long description of the signs and for them to be vigilant. That's why I think it's completely reasonable and consistent to interpret his meaning of "generation" to be along the lines of "my believers will not pass away" or "humanity will not pass away" or "the chosen people will not pass away" or "the generation/people living at that time" or any other broad meaning of "generation." Elsewhere Jesus refers to "this wicked generation" or "this generation of evil people." Did he only mean the 20-40 year-olds living at the time? I doubt it, I think he was speaking in broad terms about humanity, just like in Matthew 24.

Can you understand why I have a hard time believing Jesus meant something other than what he seemed to say?

Yes, I definitely can. I think this particular passage has been a contentious point for many, and in looking more closely at it as a result of this conversation, I see all kinds of different theories and explanations attempting to clarify or make sense of it. I agree with you that some seem to jump through all kinds of hoops trying to justify what Jesus said and how it's not wrong. Personally, I just don't have a problem with it, as I don't see the necessity of taking a narrow meaning of the words "this generation." But clearly you're not alone in having trouble with it! Like I said earlier though, if this was such an obvious and damaging contradiction, why would it have been written, as is? Wouldn't the people scribing his words take liberty with an easy tweak, like replacing the words "this generation" with "the human race" or something like that? I think they scribed it as they heard it to remain true to the message, and because it was not deemed contradictory unless one takes a narrow and modern-English view of the words "this generation."
"Not all quotes on the internet are accurate" -- Abraham Lincoln

Bicycle_B

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #391 on: June 07, 2017, 10:31:41 AM »

Proven abiogenesis would absolutely be a contrary claim to the existence of God because it would invalidate what is the Word of God in the Bible and show the claims to be false.  A believers stance is that we know because we are told what happened and that life did not come from non-life.  Abiogenesis tries to show how non-living matter turns into living matter, which is the exact opposite and therefore contrary.


Caracarn, are you aware that scientists have created living cells by assembling some lifeless chemicals - breathed life into the lifeless, so to speak?

First round of human-created life:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/7745868/Scientist-Craig-Venter-creates-life-for-first-time-in-laboratory-sparking-debate-about-playing-god.html

Later example:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3508249/Let-artificial-life-Scientists-create-minimal-cell-using-just-genes-needed-survive.html

Life created by scientists that uses chemicals that aren't in ordinary Earth life forms:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dna-life-form-new-a-t-c-g-x-y-scripps-research-institute-synthetic-semi-a7544056.html

Do you consider this to be abiogenesis? 

PS.  Sorry if this was brought up since you posted.  I wasn't able to read the last few hundred posts, but respect your thoughtfulness (that's why I'm asking). 

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #392 on: June 07, 2017, 01:47:39 PM »

Proven abiogenesis would absolutely be a contrary claim to the existence of God because it would invalidate what is the Word of God in the Bible and show the claims to be false.  A believers stance is that we know because we are told what happened and that life did not come from non-life.  Abiogenesis tries to show how non-living matter turns into living matter, which is the exact opposite and therefore contrary.


Caracarn, are you aware that scientists have created living cells by assembling some lifeless chemicals - breathed life into the lifeless, so to speak?

First round of human-created life:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/7745868/Scientist-Craig-Venter-creates-life-for-first-time-in-laboratory-sparking-debate-about-playing-god.html

Later example:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3508249/Let-artificial-life-Scientists-create-minimal-cell-using-just-genes-needed-survive.html

Life created by scientists that uses chemicals that aren't in ordinary Earth life forms:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dna-life-form-new-a-t-c-g-x-y-scripps-research-institute-synthetic-semi-a7544056.html

Do you consider this to be abiogenesis? 

PS.  Sorry if this was brought up since you posted.  I wasn't able to read the last few hundred posts, but respect your thoughtfulness (that's why I'm asking).
I read about half of the first article and the other two appear to be talking about the same process, so did not get beyond their headlines and tag lines as it is more of the same.

Even the article says they did not "create life".  They took building clocks of life and showed how to start artificial life.  They even mention towards the end of that first article that what they are creating is something that could never have existed naturally.  It required taking information that is already known about RNA and DNA and using that as a starting point.  It very clearly was designed, and that word is used several times in the article.  Nothing like what I would understand abiogenesis to mean.  And I don't understand what and "empty cell" means, as it seems to indicate for how the article explains it that until they moved it into an empty cell, nothing was happening.  This to me does not show that they got chemicals to come alive.  They built artificial amino acids and stuff (meaning they needed the knowledge to do that to start with, not that it came from nothing) and then had to inject them into a host to start replicating.  The Telegraph is constantly on the border of "is it tabloid writing or is it not", far from on par with a scientific journal.  Also Science in which this was published, very clearly states on its website "Only some of the submitted papers are reviewed in depth."  Do you have any idea if this was even done with this finding?  I'm not involved in peer research, but I do not recall JAMA or other respected publications only having two reviewers when they do a review and just looking at "some" of the papers before publishing them.  The headline of the Telegraph claims "creates life" before properly saying what was done in the  tag line (probably to avoid a possible law suit from someone) "artificial life has been created".  In short, this is something published in some publications that tend to like to live on sensationalism, of material that is not rigorously peer reviewed, if reviewed at all. 

Now, ff there were two dozen other researchers who independently reproduced the same results, then I'd pay more attention to it.  Until that starts to happen this is a parlor trick.

ETA:  Decided to go see if I could find the actual work.
http://www.jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell/overview/

All they have done is verify that the chemicals needed for life were what they though they were.  Given that they explain how they used the 1's and 0's in a computer to tell an organism how to "live" shows that we may have a better piece in understanding that those are the right chemicals and they still had to insert it into a cell to get it to work, meaning they did not start from nothing.  Nor are they trying to.  Their direction appears to very clearly be to engineer organisms that will do specific jobs.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 01:59:28 PM by caracarn »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #393 on: June 07, 2017, 01:56:15 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #394 on: June 07, 2017, 02:05:07 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?
If you honestly think anyone can tell you what they will believe in the future depending on hypothetical evidence you present now, I think you are fooling yourself and that person is lying.

As I stated above, a real actual scientific discovery is peer reviewed vigorously, reproducible by other researchers and is not made by one person doing something.  If there are dozens of abiogenesis results that meet that criteria at the very least it would get me to think about a substantial change in my belief, and I would use the same process I arrived at and use regularly to adjust beliefs I have about anything; I look at all the evidence and determine what I find the most reasonable answer.  As I said, repeatable examples that show how life starts from non-life and literally no outside influence (which will be hard to show because all of this research will be conducted in a lab with researchers who designed the situations) would be one of, if not the biggest, thing what would make it very difficult to continue to claim that God is required for creation of life.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #395 on: June 07, 2017, 02:18:03 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?

OK, so lets do the thought experiment now.  What happens if abiogenesis happens, repeatable and verified?  What does that change for you?
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #396 on: June 07, 2017, 03:01:57 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?

OK, so lets do the thought experiment now.  What happens if abiogenesis happens, repeatable and verified?  What does that change for you?
It would provide evidence that life can originate without design and totally at random. 

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #397 on: June 07, 2017, 03:09:42 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?

OK, so lets do the thought experiment now.  What happens if abiogenesis happens, repeatable and verified?  What does that change for you?
It would provide evidence that life can originate without design and totally at random.

Would you stop believing it god at that point?  If so, why?  If not, why not?
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #398 on: June 07, 2017, 06:10:32 PM »
Right, but c'mon man be honest - even if they were fully successful with abiogenesis in the lab, from scratch, it wouldn't change your beliefs one iota.  You'd simply adjust your pre-existing beliefs to adapt to the new reality.  Am I wrong?

Which brings up my next question.  What would be required to happen in order for you to make a substantial change in your beliefs?

OK, so lets do the thought experiment now.  What happens if abiogenesis happens, repeatable and verified?  What does that change for you?
It would provide evidence that life can originate without design and totally at random.

Would you stop believing it god at that point?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

There is more to my belief in God, as there is to anyone's belief in anything beyond something basic.  The belief that He created us, the universe and everything in it is certainly something important to that belief but not the only aspect of it.  If it ever got to the point that definitive evidence that life could spontaneously begin, it would certainly cause me to ask a lot more questions, but it does not suddenly erase everything.  Just as evolution can occur in a God created world as a process that is used, so to could the chemical combination process, and that addresses life, but does not yet answer the creation of the universe.  So the short answer is I would not stop believing but it would introduce a significantly new area of skepticism to explore.  Genesis did not say, "I made life, it was not random luck" so yes, you could say that there is an "out" that is offered there, but it would certainly change my thinking about other "assumptions" that are read into what the Bible does not say but seems to imply, such as that man is unique in the universe as intelligent life.  Suddenly what I view as next to impossible now, would be more in doubt.  This would still not address any of what I cited as convincing evidence to me of what the Bible says, how it holds together, the proofs of age and authorship etc.  Could a key unanswered question like this be the first domino that starts to topple other things?  Certainly.  I'm pretty sure this is along the lines of what you would expect my answer to be.  If more physical evidentiary items were to fall, such as discoveries that certain areas geographically were totally in the wrong place, the tomb and crucifixion claims that even completely hostile witnesses say are not challengeable, i.e. that it is without a doubt that Jesus lived in the time and place the Bible says he did and died in some other way that would be a much more massive obstacle to continued faith that he was God.  At this point I would begin to have multiple examples of things in the text that are now shown false as other religious texts have.  I believe that would be, if not the tipping point, then very close to it, where I would have difficulty defending my faith and therefore begin to lose belief.  In fact, if the crucifixion of Jesus was proven false that would actually have a bigger impact no my belief than showing life could begin spontaneously.  It seems very unlikely given the mountain of evidence that already exists to show it did happen, but something like that with a direct disproof of something very clearly stated in the Bible, not inferred by context or larger exegesis would be devastating.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #399 on: June 07, 2017, 07:33:50 PM »
You do see this type of tension between science and faith play out throughout semi-recent history.  People did it with evolution and the idea that god created separate animal classes.  Eventually the evidence for evolution became overwhelming, so people switch to "Well, evolution is the MECHANISM that god put in place to cause all those animals to be created". 

They'll do the same with abiogenesis.  "Well, abiogenesis is merely the mechanism that god used to start all life". 

Same thing happened when it was discovered that the Earth was not the center of the universe, and it'll happen again when we eventually discover alien life. 

Because if god is omnipotent and omniscient, then nothing that science discovers (or ever CAN discover) will be able to shake that belief.  The believer merely adjusts their belief system to account for the new facts, but the core beliefs never change. 

I suspect that eventually science will have explained enough that people of faith won't even attempt to justify their beliefs via logic, and just say the equivalent of "I have faith, that is all".  Honestly I'm sort of at that point myself right now.  I believe because of some totally subjective experiences I've had that don't fit neatly into the scientific world view, and I'm OK with that. 
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