Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Bible’s Abraham suffered from schizophrenia. « the BEattitude

I found this article online. It is amazing to me how someone can read something in the Bible and miss the whole point of the passage. The article assumes that God tells Abraham to murder Isaac. The author says that because there is no God Abraham must be hearing voices therefore not mentally stable.

Abraham obviously suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and further proves the conclusion that the entire book of Genesis is nothing more than an evil fairytale. If I ever hear “god’s” voice in my head telling me to murder my son, I’m checking myself into a mental hospital.
Do you think there would be any difference in criminal sentencing between a man giving credit to god for a murder, verses a man giving credit to the devil? Unfortunately the answer would certainly be yes. Especially in the highly religious regions of the U.S.
A religious courtroom jury would certainly have sympathy for someone claiming God instructed them to murder. They would feel sorry for them. But a person who murders by instruction from the devil would not get the same sympathy. They would be viewed as dangerously evil.
My question is what difference does it make? Murder is murder, regardless of what imaginary person tells you to do it. How is hearing the voice of god any less crazy than hearing the voice of any other mythical character?

What this brings to my mind is if there is any proof that God did not speak to Abraham? Did Abraham have any reason to trust what he heard from God? Yes. Did God make promises to Abraham and keep them? Yes. Abraham was well past childbearing age and so was his wife and she was barren - yet they gave birth to a son - Isaac - just like God promised them. Look at Genesis 15.

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
       "Do not be afraid, Abram.
       I am your shield,
       your very great reward. "
 2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit  my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."
 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
 7 He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
 8 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"
 9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
 17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river  of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

Did this happen? Yes it did. Isaac was born. Was Abraham's descendants in slavery in Egypt for 400 years and did God deliver them? Yup. This validates that God did indeed speak to Abraham.Also the other thing to consider is why God gave the command to Abraham in Genesis 22 :2

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

God used Abraham as a picture for what He would ultimately do through Jesus Christ. Look at the parallel the mountains of Moriah is where Solomon built the Temple and it's close to where Jesus was crucified. Interestingly when Isaac asked his father where sacrifice was Abraham responded:

Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.  - Genesis 22:8

This was not just fulfilled when the angel stopped the sacrifice but when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The other thing is that people seem to assume that this was easy for Abraham. They wonder what Abraham thought...what was going through his mind.

17By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 19Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.- Hebrew 11:17-19

Abraham was far from crazy. He had a relationship with God that had grown to the point that He knew He could trust God no matter what. This is what Abraham was commended for and what we should aspire to be.

The Bible’s Abraham suffered from schizophrenia. « the BEattitude
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  1. Another reason is God promised Abraham fame- if he was hearing voices why was he included in the bible and how did he get in?

    1. Maybe because he was invented?