God is a sexist, homophobic, proslavery, sadistic, murderer | INFJ Forum

God is a sexist, homophobic, proslavery, sadistic, murderer

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Satya, Jun 3, 2008.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 5 users.
More threads by Satya
  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    Anyone who has read the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) could easily come to that conclusion. So why do people choose to worship him?
     
  2. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    You have a point, but everything has context. BTW, why selectively choose the old testament? As a Christian, I consider that to be the old covenant (which I realize isn't answering the question). Of course, that brings up other issues, and I'd rather you asked than I offered to prevent me from getting on the proverbial soapbox . . .
     
  3. Serket

    Serket Regular Poster

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Or we could just accept that the books of the bible were written by imperfect men who aimed to communicate thier limited understanding of God.
     
  4. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    I feel sudsy . . . beware the soapbox!

    Here are my thoughts. God inspired men, who, while imperfect, transcribed what God instructed them to. Here is a great point about that: Why would God place endless chronologies and wars in his holy and revered text?

    First, you have to understand what this means to the jewish culture. Logic, in some respects, is culturally defined. In jewish culture it was essential to establish chronologies. People at that time could actually trace and prove their ancestry. It was important to do this in the old testament to preserve the jewish faith through the centuries, prove that those things written actually happened. It established a heritage and unified the people as a nation.

    The same idea is applicable to biblical wars. However, they also instilled in the Jewish people an sense of supernatural protection, solidifying their faith in a supernatural God, that he fought for and with them.

    I realize this is terribly simplified, but I am dangerously close to sudsiness . . .
     
  5. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    When God says, " I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent" in 1 Timothy Chapter 2, what would be the context? :? Certainly doesn't sound like God wants you anywhere near a soapbox. :lol:

    There is contradiction in the New Testament as well, but I figure I ought to first hear the justification for why Christians are still holding on to that pesky Old Testament version of God.

    Shush! The Bible is the infallible word of God unbeliever!
     
  6. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    ;) It helps, when creating an argument, to know who the audience is. Basically, I think we've established that you are nonreligious . . . but possibly believe in a deity?
    Is there any part of the bible that you do believe, or is it a just a "good book" with guidelines to follow (resisting urge to quote Geoffrey Rush from Pirates of the Caribean . . yes, I know I've spelled it wrong!)
    I'll get to the argument, really!
     
  7. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    Oh, I certainly believe in God, just not the God in the Bible. Most of the Bible is evil, and the Old Testament version of God is especially so. But I do love JC's teachings, even if he wasn't perfect in practicing them himself.
     
  8. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    The passage you are referring to in Timothy I fully agree with and endorse, and here is why: the female sex was created to exemplify how the world should function in relation to God. Men are to exemplify God. They are to have his attributes of justice, wisdom, love. While women are viewed as the “weaker vessel” it means that in the literal sense. You don’t have to be in healthcare to know that no matter how beefed up a woman gets, the female sex will never be as physically strong as the male sex. Men are told to look at women as the weaker vessel to instill in them the urge to protect the women.
    I Timothy 2 specifically states that women should not “teach or have authority over man”. Examples of how we are to interact with God-we have no right to tell him what to do, to presume authority over him. No more than I would allow a three year old child to run around in the streets unsupervised, whether they like it or not. That is the idea going on here. It’s a bit unfair on the women, on the surface, but a very good male friend of mine says he feels it’s more unfair for the men. Women are told to submit to their husbands. Men are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ sacrificed himself for the church. Meaning that men are to love their wives with such intensity they would be willing to die for them. Again, another example
    Ok, so you want to know why I hold onto the old testament? First, it hold prophecies that point to Christ. I won’t waste your time by expounding on that unless you ask me to.
    Second, people seem to think they can work their way out of their “bad deeds”. Buddhists believe that living a moral and upright life and following the four (?) tenets of Buddhism will allow them to become a monk and from their have the potential to move upward after many reincarnations . . . Hindu’s have a similar belief. In fact, almost every religion has the need for redemption as a common theme, almost always with that redemption manifesting itself in the form of personal good deeds and upright living.
    Christianity differs in that it mixes this with the acceptance of JC as the ultimate provider of that redemption. Those thousands of years in the old testament without the sacrifice were another VERY long example to a resistive people of how their good deeds alone would never enable them to reach that redemption on their own. Again, I’ll provide the passages if you ask for them.
    For me, those are the two major reasons why the OT is as important as the NT. Prophecy of Christ, Need for Christ. The OT is full of the jewish people trying on their own and failing, disobeying God and getting in tons of trouble.
    Not to mention the morals learned through stories, and all that jazz . . .
    ;)
     
  9. Serket

    Serket Regular Poster

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kwistalline you are making me...very...angry...trying...not to...shout...at you!














    Will go calm down for awhile before attempting a structured response.
     
  10. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    You shouldn't be angry at her Serket. She answered the question very eloquently. That perception of women is apparently essential to Christian marriage.

    Oh my! Then we seem to be an awfully sinful nation. We allow women to be teachers in schools, to hold high political offices, and to be CEOs in corporations. We have this rather crazy idea that women should be treated equal to men and have all the same opportunities. Oh, and we should definitely take away women's right to vote.

    And what about this passage from 1 Corinthians Chapter 14...

    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    Because I know I have seen women chat in church before.

    And not to mention that God seems rather obsessed with how women dress. So many passages where he says they need to be veiled. And yet I hardly ever see Christian women in veil.

    Since the defintion of being sexist is being discriminatory on the basis of sex or a having a belief in the inferiority of women, I have to conclude that God is as sexist.
     
  11. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Thank you, Satya. That was both semi-sweet and sarcastically concentrated. Loved it (I happen to be in the mood for chocolate coconut bars, at the moment. Debating if I should make them in the midst of my large and time-consuming yet rather stressful sewing endeavors).

    Serket, babe, there are many things I suspect we will never agree on. I've learned to agree to disagree except on matters of principle interest . . . if this is one for you, perhaps our interaction should be limited to playful bantering . . .

    Satya. Again, beautifully sarcastic!! Obviously what you say is true. I realize, also, that much of what follows may be seen as a cop-out, and I'm not closed to the idea of my misinterpretation or close-mindedness. I'm a bit more tolerant (hopefully) than some at taking blows on my beliefs in the interest and pursuit of truth.

    As I understand I Timothy, that passage is referring to teaching and authority in spiritual matters. Otherwise it would be impossible to raise children! It's another correlative to our relationship with God. Spiritually he is the head, so spiritually men are to be the head. Women, especially if they know their men are wrong, should gently and graciously persuade their husbands (again, on spiritual matters). Does it happen? Not usually! Is it a great matter of spiritual relevance? It depends on the topic and situation. I would say yes, others would say . . . no. Any Christian woman (such as myself) who would wish to live life like this ought to take care to marry the type of man who is capable of reason and understanding. . . which neither of my older sisters did, resulting in much despair. But that happens to women everywhere in spite of faith. yes, serket, I am fully aware of these people. But I don't blame that on God, I blame that on the pride of men who are deity in their own minds and willfully disregard such passages that teach men to love their wives more than their own life. But I digress (trust me, I could go on forever about the various types and definitions of love).

    Corinthians. You know, many Christians struggle with this one. I won't lie to you. As far as speaking in the church is concerned, I would make the same assertions as stated above-it concerns spiritual issues. Not everyone agrees with me, and not that it helps you, but my father is a minister, and this is his assertion as well (I do not believe this merely b/c he does-we disagree on many points).

    The covering of the head is definitely related to Jewish culture. Look into first century Jewish practices and you will find that the women who uncovered their heads were prostitutes. It would be the equivalent to someone presenting them before Queen Elizabeth dressed as a hooker! In fact, much of the decorum in the church is based on the idea of presenting ourselves before Christ with reverence and respect in much the same way we approach a king or a queen. Though I do not agree that one must dress up for church. Respect, yes, dressed to the T? How annoying is that?! I go to church in jeans and a T-shirt . . .

    Now, I think what annoys people about that explaination is that it isn't very applicable today. Why would "God's word" include something that is no longer culturally relevant? Well . . . to get the point across. Women historically, I would even argue that they are very much still, are the bearers of Gossip and unfounded stories . . . Serket, can you deny it? . . . such things are inappropriate for the church setting. The idea behind a veil or head covering is one of respect and reverence on the part of the woman, acknowledgement of her placement of authority on God, her father, or her husband. While I think that veils are not required today, that same concept would apply.

    Sexism and discrimination aren't necessarily negative terms, BTW. Is it sexist for a man to open the door for a woman? They certainly don't do so for other men! Is it sexist that the man is expected to buy flowers and dinner while on a date? Well, maybe . . . Discrimination is like pride. In the right setting and context, they are positive attributes. Discrimination can mean to be selective or make a distinguishment against something. I'm discriminatory about my friends. I discriminate against licorice b/c I think it's disgusting. I discrimate against having a male doctor do my pap-smear . . . etc.

    In that sense, yes, I would say he's discriminatory. And as a woman who feels free and unencumbered, who goes to church with jeans and a tee-shirt, who drink Smirnoff Ice and Kahlua, who has a naval ring, who occasionally skips church . . . and still is faithful to God, I don't feel God is a sexist discriminator. At least not in a negative sense. I feel respected.

    Take this passage, which I believe is talking about sexual equality: "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (I Corinthians 7:4-5)"
     
    Jonathan likes this.
  12. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    I very much admire your ability to calmly stick to your beliefs even when they are under close scrutiny.

    Yes, I do find it interesting that many Christians love being considered discriminatory because it seems they have defined the term to simply mean "to distinguish between" even when to the rest of the world it still means, "unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice." And I think male chauvinism is just sexism that has become culturally appropriate because it is traditionalistic.

    Of course, I suppose if a woman is comfortable in a subservient position to men, then she will have no ill will towards God for putting her there. What I got from reading your post is you believe God is the "good kind" of sexist. His intentions are to provide for a good structural hierarchy in marriage and worship. Am I far off base there? I'm actually very grateful for your posts because it is helping me greatly in understanding the rational behind choosing to worship this kind of God in this day and age.

    Since we have addressed God's perceived sexism, how about we move on to his homophobia?

    Homophobia: the negative attitude toward women or men who choose partners of the same sex; prejudice against (fear or dislike of) homosexual people and homosexuality

    Leviticus 20:13:
    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    Ah! Asking your believers to put homosexuals to death somehow strikes me as "a negative attitude toward [...} men who choose partners of the same sex." Would you disagree?
     
  13. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Regular Poster

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0

    It's no surprise at all that God is portrayed as not such a nice guy in the Old Testament. Think about it: You have a tribe of people kicking around in the desert for a few millenia, not the most hospitable environment even in the best of times. Throw in some enslavement and various other difficulties, and which God would you rather have: The one who's all sunshine and rainbows to everyone, or the one who'll kick your enemies' behinds?

    As for the New Testament stuff, I can give no better argument than: That was the culture back then. It was not one that granted much freedom or authority to women in any aspect of society. You can't take Paul or Timothy's words out of the context of their times, places and cultures. And even in that context, there are hints of women in positions of importance. Take Phoebe, the woman whom Paul commends in Romans 16. Older translations of the Bible call her a "servant" of the church at Cenchrea, but many scholars today hold that she was actually a deacon. Here's one example: I know that there are more. http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/rom16.htm

    So many people treat the Bible as a rule book. IMO, that diminishes it so much. It's an astounding record of interaction between the human and the divine. This is going to sound heretical, but it's just as much about us as it is about God.

    In the famous words of Anais Nin, we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. I'm coming from the Mainstream-to-Liberal Protestant branch of Christianity (I'm a Lutheran - ELCA), which is constantly accused of being too relativist, of not taking Scripture seriously enough, of having no foundation in anything. I'm no John Shelby Spong, but I'm sure that a large number of Christians, maybe even most of them, would consider me quite radical indeed. To be honest, I find conservative Evangelicalism, the kind you find in churches all over the US and, increasingly, the world, bewildering, simply because it's so different from the religious and cultural climate in which I grew up and in which I still live. In a family and a city as mixed as mine, it's hard to be really doctrinnaire about anything. Would being a "Good Christian" mean telling my Zoroastrian cousins that if they don't accept Jesus as their personal savior, they will burn for eternity? How about saying the same to my nominally-Muslim but actually secular father? Not in my book.*

    But hey...I'm a product of my time and place, just as Paul and Timothy were products of theirs. That doesn't make me wrong and them right, nor does it make them wrong and me right. We just are who we are.


    *Editing to add that I rushed to judgment here, and I did not mean to say that all Evangelicals hold these beliefs. Sorry if I came across that way. I guess I'm just scarred from the time I went to a meeting of the Christian Club in high school, only to be told that I had to "get out there and evangelize" because I didn't want my heathen fellow classmates to be lost for eternity, did I?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Gimme a sec or two here, I'm on the phone and grommitting a corset . . .
     
  15. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Regular Poster

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A corset? Cool! In high school, I was an 1860's historical reenactor at a local open-air history museum. I loved the clothes. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    Excellent post Elizabeth. First off, I get what you are saying about it "being treated as a rule book" and "taken out of the context of its time" but it's clear that not all Christians feel that way considering how many have utilized the text by saying things like, "I'm right because it says so in the Bible." I find their rational to be fascinating. People love to use a sexist, homophobic, proslavery, sadistic, murdering God to justify their own sexism, homophobia, enslavement, sadism, and murder. The God of the old testament allows Christians to pass judgment on other people through a perfect divine being, regardless of time or context. And if they are ever confronted then they can argue the New Testament where they have the rainbows and love dovey version of God with wise sayings like, "Love thy neighbor" and "Judge not ye be judged".

    I find Catholics treat Paul's word as the infallible word of God.
     
  17. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Awesome!! I could never do it, though!! Too shy and reserved . . . but my roomy's doing at the Ren Fest this year (tudor period). She's one of the parts. I just finished the corset (yeah!!) and fitted her for the kirtle, which I haven't yet cut out-never done this before. Had to finish the corset first since it shapes the entire bodice area. Oy. What's worse is I have until June 24, she's gone for five days, and I work on all the days she's off,etc. So we seriously have been taking splotches of time in between schedules. I don't know if I'm a gonna make it in time for the deadline!!

    I have to admit, though, the huge skirts sometimes have their appeal. Did you get to keep any of the clothes? Can I borrow them (just kidding, wrong century)?!
     
  18. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Threads:
    540
    Messages:
    7,278
    Likes Received:
    546
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXP
    I hope you still reply Kwistalline.
     
  19. sriv

    sriv Community Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Threads:
    8
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    IxTJ
    The Christian God? Agreed.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Threads:
    24
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Don't worry, I will/am. I've mostly been posting in between sewing. It's my stress reliever. Sew, post, sew, post . . .

    Homophobic God. Hmmm . . . . here is a question. When a statement containing and noun or adjective is used to describe a list, would not everything on that list be included under that noun or adjective? In other words, if a judgement is made about several things, are not the things considered equal to each other with regards to the judgement passed upon them?

    Consider these two passages, then (and if I border on preachy, I trust Jax to let me know).

    "On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10)."

    "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness . . . Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless . . (Romans 1:18, 26, 28-31, NIV)"

    In both these passage homosexuality is equated with drunkenness, greed, murder, gossip, and, among other things, disobedience to parents!! Everything in these lists is considered a sin. That sin being defined as anything that goes against the character and nature of God, homosexuality merely being one item on the list. Yes, it is considered a sin. I would not, however, say that God is afraid of them, nor would I say that I am. For that matter, I've met several homosexuals of both sexes and neither treat nor do I support the mistreatment of homosexuals. I tend to avoid lesbians, however, b/c they misunderstand what is apparently a caring nature in me . . . it's been awkward (I won't say anymore on that subject-I think you can guess why)! I think I may have said this somewhere before, but I would sooner go to a gay parade than be the guy on the sidewalk protesting the gay parade. Love the sinner, hate the sin. It's a total cliche, but that's how I believe the bible should be interpreted.

    The old testament, as stated before, is there to remind us of what life is like when we try to seek redemption through our own means. The Jewish people were stubborn and resistant to God. They didn't understand what you would call "lovey-dovey" religion. If you look at the culture and technology (or lack) at the time, you can understand a little bit why. In order to keep the Jewish nation from losing their faith and heritage, it was necessary to severely punish and even kill those who went against the law of God. Sounds a little like Hitler, huh? But it wasn't merely homosexuals who were stoned. Exodus and Leviticus have most of those passages. A man could be stone for not killing an ox he owned who had gored someone to death. You could be stoned if you were a "medium (well, certainly God would have issues with someone involved in what would be considered the devils work-it is done for any traitor even today!!)". The punishment of God was not exclusive to homosexuals.

    I cannot find anything in the new testament that would support the putting to death of homosexuals today. The new testament is like the "windows for dummies" book: it explains the why's and whatnots' of the old testament. Meant for a time when men began to ask questions, question authority, and authorize social changes. It was the perfect time for a change in covenant, when the Romans took over and worldviews began to crumble or evolve . . .

    Am I waxing sudsy here?

    Does this help at all? I'm a bit distracted today with sewing dilemnas (sp?). I think your problem with God, if I may, dwells more on what you consider to be ungodly on his part, or, perhaps, inhumane? Unjust, even?
     

Share This Page