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Open Conversation Part 1

So I’ve decided to bring the “Kathy” series to an end. However, we’ve had some fun in those threads when the conversation has gone off into interesting tangents, so I’d like to keep that part of it going for anyone who’s interested. These new threads will no longer focus on Kathy or the things we were discussing with her. So thanks for your time, Kathy! Take care.

There are no real rules for these threads. But to kick off the conversation, I’ll go back to the discussion on Paul that a few of us were having. Laurie views Deut 13 as a prophecy about Paul, so why don’t we take a quick look at it?

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. 9 But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you to dwell there, 13 that certain worthless fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently. And behold, if it be true and certain that such an abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. 16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever. It shall not be built again. 17 None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, 18 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

I can see how one could apply this to Paul. However, I can also see how Jews could have applied it to Jesus as well, especially if he was claiming divinity for himself. And I’m sure this could have applied to lots of people during Israel’s history. Why should we think it’s pointing to Paul specifically, and why wouldn’t it also apply to Jesus?

1,090 thoughts on “Open Conversation Part 1”

  1. William,

    I never could figure out how a God that changes not, could change so much from the old testament to the new. This is a huge problem. I know my ideas are hard to understand, but they are honest. If you remove Paul, then nothing has changed. According to Torah it is righteousness for you if you keep YHWH’s commandments. I know this idea isn’t as fun as saved by grace, have faith and your in, but that’s what Torah says.

    When Paul says there is non righteous, he is misquoting Torah as usual. I can show you if you’d like, but i know this isn’t really relevant to a non believer. It should however, be relevant to anyone who adheres to Christianity.

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  2. “Laurie/Brandon, why and how are each of you so convinced that the bible and your positions on it are correct while all others are wrong?”

    My previous post was in response to this.

    I am not a biblical scholar, and I have more questions than answers at this point in my life, so to say all others are wrong, would be really quite silly. I will say however, that I am positive Paul was the false apostle that Yahusha warned of in revelations 2. Someday I will create a website dedicated to this issue, but to put it all here on Nates blog would be time consuming, and bore all you atheist to tears!

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  3. I hope that my comment does not come across as curt. But why does it even matter trying to understand the Bible? I think Revelations 19 says it all.

    “15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.

    “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

    King of kings and Lord of lords.

    17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

    19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

    21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”

    Who would want to bow down to such a deity? Yahweh or Jesus. If they did, how is that any different than someone with a form of Stockholm syndrome?

    Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”

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  4. I’ve been reading along with interest. I admit I am no scholar of the bible. (In fact, I’ve begun to refer to it as my ‘least favourite fiction’ – you can imagine THAT doesn’t go over well on some of the blogs I comment on). Two years ago, when I started my journey away from religion, I read many of the books Nate has suggested on his site. I also tried – TWICE – to read the bible. I just couldn’t get through it. Now, it hasn’t stopped me from reading what others write about it, and so I have familiarized myself with its stories that way. (plus, I’ve been a life-long church-goer, so there is that). The more I read what others have to say about it, the more I am convinced that it was a book that was written BY men, FOR men. It’s that fact, more than any other, which has completely turned me off to it. I honestly cannot understand why any woman would uphold it as having any kind of moral lesson to convey; to me, it’s a misogynistic text and definitely not any kind of guidebook.

    No doubt, someone will come along to comment on the passages that Victoria has selected – they’ll be able to say, “Oh, well – those verses were taken out of context, they were about a specific .. . yada, yada. . “. Believe me, I’ve read the apologetics’ attempts at taking all the nasty bits out. I just don’t buy it. They are, after all, the words that were written. (or ‘God-breathed’, whatever that means)

    oh, and arch – you’d be interested to know that the poem, “Children Learn What they Live”, is up in many classrooms (still!) that I visit.

    As I’ve said on here before, all eleven of our grandchildren are being brought up in non-religious homes. That poem encapsulates the themes of their parents. I see them (every day) interacting with their kids, modelling kind behaviour, gently suggesting other (more acceptable) ways of expressing themselves, showing them great respect, and never raising their hands to correct them. I think they’re doing a much better job with their children than I did with them. I know, I’m showing my personal bias here, but those grandkids are turning out just fine.

    I really have come to believe that people are good without god.

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  5. I understand where you ladies are coming from, and although I don’t agree, I enjoy reading your comments.

    Revelations is one of my favorite books.

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  6. You know, Laurie, you keep hanging out with us atheists, and you may start to feel a change coming on…

    You’d make arch the happiest guy in the world 😉

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  7. And not only that Laurie, if you de-convert today we’ll throw in a free subscription to Dawkins Monthly.

    (offer not valid in the following states: ME, MA, MT, NV, NH, ND, OR, RI, WA or WY.)

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  8. In regards to the book of Revelation . . . haunted me through and through. I remember pleading with the Lord, please take me with you when you return. Don’t leave me here for the blood bath.

    And please save my family, my friends, my teachers, the whole world . . . and the burden to carry it all. 😦

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  9. Oh my! The book of Revelation brings back many memories. It was that book (or at least the gory parts) that brought on my conversion. Scared the sh __ out of me to read all that stuff about hailstones, earthquakes, bloody rivers, etc., etc.

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  10. LOL!!! 😄 You guys are crazy 😉 almost as crazy as me, keep working on it!

    But I wouldn’t hold your breath on the de-conversion, I wouldn’t want you to pass out!

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  11. I probably have a different view of it than you do Carmen. I believe that the great tribulation has passed, and a lot of this is historical. I’m looking forward to the time of messiah, were he will bring about world peace for a thousand years, and the people on earth will learn his ways. This is not the Christian understanding.
    Most of the revelation is taken out of the Tanakh. I don’t believe in eternal hell fire.

    Yes there is some scary stuff in there though. It is thematically connected to the first exodus , and the prophets tell us that when Messiah comes again he will lead a second and final exodus where he will gather israel and return to Jerusalem. The together they will rebuild the temple and bring about world peace.

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  12. So, Laurie, out of curiosity – how is this different than the ‘End Times’ someone (a Baptist minister) referred to on Noseybook the other day. . .?
    Just so you know, that conversation didn’t go well. . . I pretty much got the, “Well, obviously you cannot discuss this rationally so I’ll just sign off” brush-off. Which translates to, “You don’t agree with me, so this conversation is over”. Remind us of anyone??

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  13. Laurie, I find you refreshing in debate, and thank you for not taking offense to my comments. They are not intended to offend. I have a question, though. Does this world peace require that all submit to your god, and if they don’t off with their heads, so to speak?

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  14. Laurie, when I was doing research and reading for my book, I learned a lot about the early Jews and their beliefs. Foe me, their story has far more validity than the Christian story. However, what I find difficult to understand is how you can accept Jesus as the messiah. Based on what little I know, he did not fit the “requirements” at all.

    Further, you talk about the 1000 year reign. Isn’t that a Christian belief? I don’t remember coming across anything like that in my reading. I do know the orthodox Jewish people still look towards the day when Israel will be restored, but to my knowledge, they don’t expect any kind of tribulation, rapture, or any of that stuff before the “real” messiah is revealed.

    What am I missing?

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  15. Revelations is one of my favorite books.” – Except for the Harry Potter series, me too! But I really prefer NON-fiction —

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