On the surface ... sure, but not really. That's probably the Americanized version of the Gospel and very superficial, honestly.
The real Gospel message is that a disciple of Jesus Christ is a person who has joined Him in His death and resurrection as a new creation before God. It goes beyond relationship to unity and authority over evil and darkness, to a restoration of how it was at the beginning, a real position before God that has been initiated by Him and is maintained by Him, with the additon of adoption and being children of God instead of mere creations. It's the whole drama of death to life, darkness to light, temporal to eternal, blind to being able to see, all those things. Those are the people that will wade into the darkest darkness, unafraid, and turn light switches on. Those are the people that stood before emperors and soldiers and lions and angry mobs and on purpose quietly went on to something better because they already died years before, and knew that physical things cannot touch the resurrection life because it is eternal. Those are the people I owe my life to. They are my legacy, I am their legacy, and for their sake, I will not turn back.
You're missing quite a few dimensions there in your description. Perhaps that's why it couldn't hold you. Because if what you describe is all there was to the Gospel, I'd probably lose interest, too.
I'd have a real problem telling myself that the Person who has so invaded my life and caused such dramatic change, is a figment of my imagination. According to you, that's all it is, right? Trickery of neurons in the brain? Wow. Sad.
But the Bible did predict that regardless, people would fall away and draw back to perdition. Paul was up against people who did in fact encounter Jesus and chose something different by the time it was all said and done. So you're by no means unique in your decision, and your path just happens to be science instead of gnosticism or whatever. It doesn't really matter. Everyone has their own hooks.
So, there you have it then. You've made your choice, and I wish you all the best. I pray that man-made science can deliver what your relationship with Jesus never could. We're all admonished to press on and move forward and count the cost and not look back and not be swayed. If it wasn't possible to fall away, we would not need those admonishings.
Regardless, I appreciate you coming here and telling your story. It's a chilling reality that people need to hear.
Lets look at the so called rape on in Deut...if you read further up it does talk about actually rape in that chapter and no the woman is not forced to marry him.
23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
25 “But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. 27 For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28 “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible
b. If a man has intimate relations with a virgin who was betrothed, and it happens in the countryside (where no one could hear the woman, even if she should cry out), then only the man was to be executed, because the woman was presumed to be the victim of rape.
i. Significantly, the woman is not blamed for the rape, and it is presumed that she is innocent in this circumstance.
c. If a man has intimate relations with a virgin who is not betrothed, then he must pay a fine and is obligated to marry the woman (presumably, if she will have him), and he forfeits his right to divorce her in the future.
i. Some Jewish commentators note that the fifty shekels of silver were to be paid in addition to the dowry.
Who thinks evolution is magical? Not anyone I know of...God created Adam out of dirt and Eve from a rib, and yet people think that evolution is magical.
How could a God of Love order the massacre/annihilation of the Canaanites? (this is a great site and can address other questions you have..if you really want to know the answers that is. If you just want to believe what the atheist have told you..(which isn't free thinking by the way) then that is your choice).God contradicts His own moral standards:
God commands us not to murder or steal. Then God commands the children of Israel to both murder men, women and children of the Canaanite nations so that they can take their land.
I could go on and on...all these can be easily addressed actually. There is a difference between cold blood murder for selfish reason..thy shall not kill...and defending ourselves in war against an enemy nation...few people have problems with that.
If you think putting out these 'free thinking ideas' is going to undermine our faith I am afraid you are mistaken as these types of attacks on the bible have always been going on. It takes some studying to fully understand and time too...but most of all alot of prayers. So far no atheist has asked a question that makes our beliefs all fall apart. I am truly sorry though you fell for their traps.
"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson
But, of course, God is above our reason. Therefore, we must trust a God who contradicts his own morals and leads men to write a book full of errors.
I appreciate your comments. Thank you very much. It is not my desire to turn anyone away from their belief in God. Please believe me when I tell you that my thoughts did not change overnight. It was quite slow and gradual. I have spent hours upon hours thinking these things through. I have also spent many nights praying that God would show me the truth.
as you have done.
Honestly, do you think you SURPRISE anyone here with the examples you've given? We can give you plenty more! We've seen it from such as yourself time and time and time again, and when we encounter them for the first time, we go back to the Word in prayer and search out the issue. Never failing to find the solution. You apparently didn't do that...so where was your heart before you started searching these "contradictions"? Bags already packed and ready to head in the world, it seems.
I do believe we're all presented at some point in the game with questions that will push us to the limit of our faith. Those who have courage will address them and think them through. God does tell us to love Him with our minds, and I doubt very much that critical, independent thinkers make Him nervous. I have many niggling questions of my own. But I choose to pursue them with God. He already has shown me truth with His Son. The rest is just a matter of filling in the pieces where they belong, the right way.
I never hold the Bible and science to be contradictive. Because the Bible is about one thing, and one thing only, and that is mankind's relationship with its Creator. And it uses the most amazing language to make its point. I think we get in trouble when we try and make the Bible say something that it plainly doesn't. It's often quiet on certain matters for a reason. And so we don't have to do mental and spiritual gymnastics to make things fit where they don't, and try to make it say something it simply doesn't. Because the one thing that it is about, and the one reason it was written for, it hammers home quite conclusively and completely watertight. I do believe that people expect things from the Bible that it simply will never deliver, and then they get confused and have themselves a crisis.
I would encourage you to give it another look. Embrace the Bible like you embraced science. Embrace it for the one reason it was written and for why it exists. That's really all I can encourage you to do right at this juncture.
The happiness of the godly is only begun in this world. - Caspar Olevian
In 1 Samuel 15:3 'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"
At first you see this and say "WAIT A MINUTE THIS ONE OF THE PROBLEMS I HAVE WITH CHRISTIANITY...HERE YOU HAVE GOD TELLING THEM TO WIPE OUT AN ENTIRE TRIBE..WHO IS GOD TO DO...!?!?"
You see whats happening, already in that one verse your determining that your character is greater and your kindness is better than Gods.
Then you respond "Well I just think that when it comes down to it there are some things that I just dont agree.."
Wait a minute, in that verse why is God determining to judge Amalek the way He's determining to judge Amalek?
He said why..lets go back a verse to verse 2:
"Thus says the LORD, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.'
Bear in mind what Amalek did to you on the journey after you left Egypt, how without fear of any god he harassed you along the way, weak and weary as you were, and cut off at the rear all those who lagged behind.
So what happened? The Israelites after 400 years in bondage are leaving Egypt and its great celebration, the Amalek tribe is standing back watching and notice that the Israelites have Egyption items and plunder. So they say to themselves "Well if we wait til they pass, anyone who is ill, young, feeble, or weak; we can pounce on them and take their stuff!!"
Gods in the Heavens watching this and says what are they doing, I cant let this happen to My people. Will God just let His people be killed off? Of course not. So God protects His people.
Now you say "Okay well I didnt know all that, know that I know that I guess it might be alright or He's justified in doing.."
So in other words only if God gives you enough information then you will understand and believe Him, but if not then your character and your judgment is still greater than Gods?...
Think of it this way: A religious person listens selectively, a spiritual person listens carefully.
To be perfectly honest, I know a lot of people who are more moral than the God of the bible.
More reasons to disbelieve the existence of God.
The reason God wanted to kill those Amalekites was not to protect Saul, but to punish them for what their ancestors had done to the children of Israel. Read verse 2 again.
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