Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Iron Sharpens Iron: Peter Jones: Creation or the Creator: Who Do You Worship?: Theology, Spirituality, Sexuality & the New Paganism Analyzed (Encore)

Dr. Peter Jones was interviewed on Iron Sharpens Iron regarding his book.

As the publishers describe Dr. Jones' book:

"Walking around in a blur? Afraid to talk about Jesus? Not sure how Christians fit with other religions? One or Two will help you see a world of difference... Using the apostle Paul's structure in Romans 1, Peter Jones shows why your choice affects everything you think and do: how you think about God (theology), what you worship (spirituality) and how you live your sexuality. Seeing a world of difference and distinctions will help you in making a world of difference."
Follow the link to hear the program.

Iron Sharpens Iron: Peter Jones: Creation or the Creator: Who Do You Worship?: Theology, Spirituality, Sexuality & the New Paganism Analyzed (Encore)
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Iron Sharpens Iron: JAMES WHITE: Review of the "Did the Bible Misquote Jesus" Debate (Encore)

Iron Sharpens Iron recently re-broadcasted James White's review on his debate with Bart Ehrman. Go on down memory lane.

Iron Sharpens Iron: JAMES WHITE: Review of the "Did the Bible Misquote Jesus" Debate (Encore)
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FacePalm of the Day #73 - Debunking Christianity: Women Submit, or So Says the Bible

John Loftus recently posted the rantings opinions of one of his readers whom I have interacted with in the past. Gandalf really hates Christianity but unwilling to separate what the Bible says about how we should act and how Christians should act. In the post, Gandalf attempts to explain where and how the Bible encourages and prescribes misogyny. Let's go through his arguments together and see if he has a point. I annotated his post in red. I want to state in the outset that there has been much evil perpetrated against women in the name of God. This tells us how depraved people are, not how evil God is.

Gandolf argues
For starters,Eve is the one blamed for being convinced and led astray in the garden of eden by the naughty snake that convinces her to eat the fruit of the tree so that they will become as gods, Eve then leads adam astray by helping convince Adam to do likewise through being led by Eves example,thus causing downfall of man.
Agreed that people have taught this, there is no Bible to support blaming Eve for our sin problem. The Bible places the blame on Adam because it was on his watch and his responsibility. The Bible says Eve was deceived. She didn't think she was doing something wrong. Eve believed the snake. Adam, on the other hand knew exactly what he was doing was disobeying God.

3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3, New International Version, ©2011)

To top matters off evidently God made the male the head and the female the helper.Christians may try to argue this only means man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.But this still tends to suggest that somehow the spiritual aspect of man is thought above that of a woman.Why do theists beat around the bush,if woman and man were thought equal there should have been absolutely no reason at all to even bother to discuss the male as the head and the female as being the helper.

Excuse me? "Headship" does not mean "Lordship". Men and Women are ontologically equal but they have different roles in a marriage. The Bible does tell us that the man is primarily responsible and must serve the wife. Want proof?

3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. - 1 Corinthians 11:3

Theists who accept the Bible and are Trinitarians cannot think men are better than women because if men are greater because we are the head, then why isn't Christ less than God if God is Christ's head? Simple: "Headship" does not  refer to worth or value - but role and responsibility. Unless one wants to assume the contradiction, then the text does not allow you to interpret men and women relationships in Marriage the way Gandalf and many others do.

Ecclesiasticus 25:24 Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.

Amazing. This verse shows why Ecclesiasticus is Apocryphal and not part of Jewish and Protestant canons. It's no scripture and directly with the Bible we do have
14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:14, New International Version, ©2011)
Heavens to Betsy! IT looks like Paul disagrees with who ever wrote Ecclesiasticus, which you would be hard pressed to find many Christians or Jew to accept it as Scripture - from Jesus' time to now.

This religion is harmless ? pffffffttttt !

A word here about "religion". I am a Christian and Ecclesiaticus is not part of my religion. Who does? What does the Bible say about what "religion" is:

25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:25-27, New International Version, ©2011)

So, if we all had this kind of religion, do you really think that there would be as many women living in poverty and suffering? Nope.

Maybe liberal religion is less harmless ,the further away it gets from the "origin" of this original religion.But still that does little to help suggest this original-religion is honestly harmless.

The farther away we move from the Bible the worst things are. The reason why the world is messed up and all the atrocities that Gandalf complains about happened was due to people ignoring what God said. 

From "origins" of this ancient religious thought of gender bias, evolved much of the bashing and beating of women folk we do still sometimes see continuing within our societies in general today.Sure liberal religious folk might have now joined the anti women-abuse movement in these more modern times,but sadly its a matter of too-little to late ,when "religious thought" in past history had already left the gate wide open and some "faith-groups" been involved helping give the green-light for such bigoted promotion of this sort of gender bias, that now sadly has also infected our whole societies like a cursed plague ,that still ends up helping produce some men who will end up in jail for mistreating women.

 Men mistreat women  because of their own lusts and evil in their hearts not because the Bible tells them to do it. Now Gandalf brings his hit parade of Bible passages that supposedly show that women should be subjugated as a sub species. Yaaaawn. Let's see if this assesment actually hold up.

Genesis 3:16: Adam's role is to be Eve's master.

 16 To the woman he said,
   “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
   with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
   and he will rule over you.”

So to Gandalf "rule" means master and women is as a slave. Convenient. "Rule" does not mean the man gets to treat his wife however he chooses. All it is saying is that the man is leader not the despot.

A man could marry (literally "become the master of the woman") as often as he desired. In Genesis 4:19

 19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. (Genesis 4:19, New International Version, ©2011)
 "Husband" does not mean "master of women". The Bible describes polygamy but there isn't a single verse that commands and endorses it as a good idea,
Genesis 16:2 : Sarah gave permission to her husband Abraham to engage in sexual intercourse with her maid, Hagar

And? In that culture, that is how they handled infertility. IT was considered no different than surrogate motherhood today - except no middle man. The Bible says it happened but no where were Abraham or Sarah told to do that. IT was Sarah's idea, but I'm sure Abraham didn't protest

Genesis 19:8 Lot offers his two virgin daughters to be raped instead

Again, Where was Lot commended for such an action? Where does the Bible tell us to do that. The Bible reports that the event happened  not that we should do the same thing. 

Genesis 21:10: A man could simultaneously keep numerous concubines

And? The Bible says men kept concubines but this again descriptive and not prescription. Oh and what does the cited passage have to do with concubines?

10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” (Genesis 21:10, New International Version, ©2011)

Abraham only had one. How does this passage show Gandalf's point it doesn't say what he seems to be implying that it say.

Exodus 20, 21: A woman as the property of her father. At marriage, her ownership was transferred to her new husband

I can't find this scripture reference. What was being transferred was not ownership, but the responsibility to can care and protect her. 

Leviticus 12:1-5 Quotes God as stating that a woman who has given birth to a boy is ritually unclean for 7 days. If the baby is a girl, the mother is unclean for 14 days.

So? The Bible is not making a statement of worth of boys over girls. It's a discussion of ceremonial uncleanness not morality or worth as Gandalf appears to be suggesting. 

Leviticus 27:6 A child aged 1 month to five years of age was worth 5 shekels if a boy and 3 shekels if a girl.

Let us not forget what the context of this verse is:

 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the LORD by giving the equivalent value, 3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; 4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels; 5 for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels; 6 for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver; 7 for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels. 8 If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford. (Leviticus 27:1-8, New International Version, ©2011)

The passage is not discussing how much slaves are worth. IT's talking about how much money you pay to God corresponding to a person one is dedicating to God. It is a free-will offering.

Numbers 5:11-31 Women subjected to nasty tests to find out if guilty of an affair.No such test for men

The test only got nasty if she was guilty and considering that she and the man she had the affair with were to be executed, I don't think the consequences was not really that bad.

Numbers 27:8-11, Moses describes the rules of inheritance that God has stated. If a man dies, his son inherits the estate; his daughter gets nothing.

Again that was cultural because the daughter was to be under the protection of her husband. 

Deuteronomy 21:10-13 describes how a soldier can force a woman captive to marry him without regard for her wishes

This particular passage is difficult given our modern sensibilities. Do you really think that any other nation had laws that a captive women could be any more than a sex slave and not a wife? Would she be treated as a full member of society with all the rights and privileges that came with being a full wife? Would she had gotten a month to mourn her family?  I think not. I also would find it hard to believe that a man would marry a woman whom she did not want to marry him knowing all the stuff that was required of him towards her.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 requires that a woman be a virgin when she is married. If she has had sexual relations while single in her father's house, then she would be stoned to death. There were no similar virginity requirements for men.

If a man was caught having sex with a woman who was not his wife he too was to be stoned at worst or not be bound to marry her for the rest of their lives and could not divorce her.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 requires that a virgin woman who has been raped must marry her attacker, no matter what her feelings are towards the rapist.
This was written for the woman benefit. Having been dishonored in that culture would have meant no one would most likely marry her. This would ensure that the man would have to take care of her, considering that she  would have no other recourse.

Deuteronomy 24:1 describes the procedure for obtaining a divorce. This can only be initiated by the husband, not by the wife

 This is why Jesus answered the question "Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?" The answer was "No!"  See Matthew 24:1-11,

Deuteronomy 25:11: If two men are fighting, and the wife of one of them grabs the other man's testicles, her hand is to be chopped off. There is no penalty if a male relative were to grab the other man
This law was to keep order in society. Women and Men have roles and I suspect that this law is to help keep those roles respected.

12 disciples of Jesus were recorded as all male

So. The first people who got the news of the Resurrection were women! They told the disciples and then the male disciples saw Jesus. He had female followers. Ever hear of Phoebe who was a leader in the church?

Mark 12:18-27 Jesus doesnt bother to preach against the sexism and unfairness of Jewish law (from Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
Jesus did. Look at Matthew 19 and Mark 12! He said you can't just kick your wife to the curb when you get tired of her.  Besides we don't have all of Jesus' teachings. We don't know that he never said anything about it.
Racist Jesus insults women referred to her as a dog or sub-human Matthew 15:22-28 Mark 7:25-30
Um, Jesus was emphasizing a point not tossing her to the side. He was showing that she had greater faith than people who were supposed to have it.  

1 Corinthians 11:7-9:"For a the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

Interesting how Gandalf neglects to quote the context of the verse. Let's look at how the NIV translates this for some clarity:

 7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:7-9, New International Version, ©2011)

The context is on whether or not men and women should cover their heads where they pray. Gandalf is suggesting that Paul is saying that women are worth less than men than why did he go on to say:

 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:13-16, New International Version, ©2011)

Paul was saying "Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?"

1 Corinthians 14:34-35: "...women should remain silent in the churches.

I've written on what this means. Follow the link

Ephesians 5:22-24: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife

Funny thing is that people will take those few verses and ignore the many more verses about what the husband is supposed to do for his wife.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:23-33, New International Version, ©2011)

1 Timothy 2:11-15:"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent

 Again see the link

Titus 2:4: "...train the younger be subject to their husbands

 Back to the full context on Ephesians 5:21-33

1 Peter 3:7: Women are referred to as "the weaker vessel"

"Weaker vessel" does not refer to a women's strength or worth. Again her position in God's order requires that her husband protect her and not take advantage. Don't forget to look at the whole context.

 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7, New International Version, ©2011)

God says that if a man does not treat his wife with respect, his prayers will be ignored. That's pretty heavy and no way can twist scripture to validate that women are not important. They seem really important to God.

And there is plenty more verses that caused harm, whether intended or not harm is harm.Whether through ancient ignorance of man or not , this was indeed about religion ,and religious views did not have the ability to be deemed wrong and evolve and change fast the same way that science does.If use of nuclear bombs was connected to religion and religious beliefs,the grave danger of these beliefs might become a scurge that is hard to budge for thousands of years.Just as is subjection of women still a scurge that still is hard to budge with regards to women being given equal rights,in becoming leaders within some churches to this very day.

No where is the Bible teaching that women should be subjugated in any way. "Submission" is about a woman voluntarily trusting God. There were women in the early church who were leaders. Check out this link on one of those leaders. 

I would totally agree than Dan Wilkinson and his liberal friends are surely very nice people,most will be genuine people who mean well, and definitly are a big step forward.But for them to try and suggest these religious beliefs have no responsibility for heinous acts commited in the name of a religious belief system.To me seems lots like trying to say people killed by nuclear bombs,is not the responsibility of the existence of these nuclear bombs.

I disagree that the blame for the subjugation of women can be laid at the Bible. The text just don't say what Gandalf says they do. 

And while liberal folk try to water down sanitize and sanction the adverse detrimental effects of religion.Liberal folk liberally continue to also help enable unwarrented respect of religion,which in turn continues to convert folk toward liberal faith,many who through their respect of religion will also allow for the laws of "freedom of religion" to continue onward unchallenged, inturn "cementing" the rights of some faithful folk in the more abusive fundamental faiths ,to also continue onward abusing people existing among their faith groups, totally unchallenged.

What Gandalf has managed to explicitly show that the people have practiced Christianity in ways contradictory to what the Bible really says.

Thus why i suggest, the liberal faithful cannot honestly lay claim of being so very harmless either

 When people twist and subvert scripture, they can only cause harm as history has shown.

When they finally have the guts to ALL promptly step forward ,boldly speak-up! and stand alongside atheists,and petition our governments and authorities, demanding that old laws surrouding "freedom of religion" that currently still allow for this faith-abuse ,need to be reconsidered and amended .Then they might be honest in laying their claim to being harmless.

Agreed. But you don't need throw the Bible under the bus to keep people from doing evil and abusing their religious authority. The Bible is against the subjugation of women and abusing people. The Bible isn't the problem. People are the problem. Jesus is the solution.

Until such time,their liberal faith also liberally allows for the faith abuses of abusive fundamental faith groups,to continue to continue onward unchallenged.

Gandalf is correct about the need to stand against those who use religion to hurt others. But the key is in recognizing how they lie and twist the Bible to validate their evil actions.

Debunking Christianity: Women Submit, or So Says the Bible
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