Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Can’t Know - Unless

Some atheist has asked how a person can possibly know what parts of the Bible are literal and what parts metaphorical. Let me answer this with a story.

Jesus repeatedly told His followers that He was going to go up to Jerusalem to be tortured to death and that on the third day He would rise from the dead.

Do you think they understood what He was saying as literal? Metaphorical?

Peter immediately got into trouble for telling Jesus He was sliding into negative thinking. After all, how can you carry off a successful rebellion against Rome while saying you’re going to die? “You’re the Leader!” Peter implored. “ Lead!”

Peter then got into trouble for overstating his devotion to his Leader. “Even if everyone else falls away from you, I’m ready to die for you.”

Then ALL of them got into trouble for arguing over who would take top position in the new government.

In reality, none of them got it. They didn’t have a clue what Jesus meant. Was that because Jesus was speaking metaphorically or literally?

Even on the morning of the resurrection they didn’t get it. The crucifixion of Jesus had forced His disciples to accept, “Oh, so He really DID mean that He was going to die.” They got that part but since no body naturally rises from the dead, the resurrection scenario went right over their heads. All they could think about was that they’d just about been a part of a revolution to overthrow Rome and now their leader was dead - and buried.

On Sunday morning the women were going to the tomb to anoint a corpse.
On Sunday morning the disciples were hiding behind locked doors.

Nobody understood the literal announcement of Jesus’ resurrection until the truth of it was REVEALED to them.

And there’s your answer to how you could know. It’s the same with the Bible. An atheist understanding the Bible in ANY sense is ludicrous. Atheists are on the outside looking in. They stand no hope whatsoever of understanding even the most clearly stated propositions in the Bible. This is true even of those present day atheists, like Loftus and Ehrman, who pretended to be Christians at an earlier point in their lives. As the saying goes, “Understanding the Bible without the Holy Spirit is like reading a Sun Dial by the light of a quarter moon.”

Jesus saying to His disciples, “I’m going to die but don’t worry, I’m going to come back to life,” made as much sense to them at the time that it was said as it does to atheists today.

Unless Jesus, through grace chooses to reveal Himself to any given atheist, the whole Bible is a puzzle to them. The only thing that atheists know to do with things they don’t understand is mock and ridicule.

The thing with God is, you can’t know Him unless He invites you to come to know Him.
That invitation is based on His foreknowledge of what your choice will be.
You don’t know what the future holds.
Every person who came to Christ as an adult, thought s/he would be a functional atheist forever.

And then Jesus intervened. You simply can’t know until it happens to you.

6 comments:

  1. A portion of the North American population says that the Bible can only truly be understood by those who already believe the corresponding dogma and tradition attached to the myth.

    These people conveniently dodge the absurdities of the bible by declaring non-believers to be incapable of understanding its true meaning, simply on the grounds of being skeptical.

    Since the sheer volume of this holy book contains enough variation to appropriate a verse to fit any contention endorsed by the believer, the contents are consequentially used as anti-intellectual artillery, forged out of relativism from their "holy" text, to combat actual intellectual and scientific ideas.

    Despite this biblical relativism and constant contradiction this population still maintains their implausible position, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence.

    They must do this or their belief system will collapse. It's how they are, it's how they think.



    @Hugo,
    I've been trying to stay away from this blog too :), suppose I'm too weak to fight the addiction as well! And thanks for the compliment earlier :)

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  2. Mak said.."who pretended to be Christians at an earlier point in their lives. As the saying goes, “Understanding the Bible without the Holy Spirit is like reading a Sun Dial by the light of a quarter moon."

    But how do you judge who actually has this holy spirit you speak of Mak ?...There is no ojective way to judge who has it and who doesnt.

    I mean does the holy spirit have a strong dislike of atheists? ...Or Islamists? ..Maybe this holy spirit has a strong dislike of suggested pretend Christians ? Homosexuals? ...Kid molestors?....False miracle workers? ..Shellfish? ..Pork? ..Women in positions of athourity? ..Money?

    How could we even even know who`s actually pretend and whos not ...There is no real "objective" way to know is there Mak ...And everyone claiming christianity thinks they have this holy spirit guidence.And besides we have no real way to even judge the bible not full of pretend also ...Or the Koran ..etc

    Basically making it like a open book.For all i know you might also be a devil in disguise....Your bible might even be part devil in disguise too

    Thats how utterly stupid this whole idea of prophets and devine guidence and faith sent from god-/s being supposedly passed down to men,seems to be in my opinion Mak.

    We need to rely far to much on humans !...Humans which you already explained very well, can always be "pretending".

    It makes far more good sense to me, if there really be any God who so happens, can create a whole universe ..Then taking that into account it seems such a simple task that he would/should surely be able to also pass on this information to each and everyone of us "personally".It just seems like good logic and common sense .

    To me it makes little sense that a god who creates a whole universe all by(himself!) ,then supposedly needs man? to help pass on his messages? .(In effect leaving the book wide open for all the "pretenders" to cause havoc, that they actually even have ! done )

    I see absolutely no real good reason to put my belief, (in mere faith of men and their faith books).

    Infact as i look back over history ...It even seems to completely prove the point of how nasty evil and dangerous, its really is to be involved in such harmful guesswork

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  3. I love the Bible. Here's another passage we never discussed at Bible school. Maybe the Holy Spirit will explain it to me tonight:

    Exodus 4:18-26 (New King James Version)

    So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.”
    And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand. And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”
    And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’[a] feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”— because of the circumcision.
    [my emphasis]

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  4. If God invites me to know him, and I subsequently realize the creation story in Genesis is literal (Romans 5: "sin entered the world through one man"), then I would have to become a young earth creationist, correct?

    If God invites me to know him, and I subsequently realize the creation story in Genesis in metaphorical, does that make original sin metaphorical? If original sin is metaphorical, does that make the need for atonement metaphorical, too?

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  5. @ Gandolf

    "Creationist dont realize there actually is much within this world, that doesnt suggest much about "intelligent design". "

    And yet... they will claim that we are the ones who are missing something, not fully grasping the reality in from of our eyes. The truth is that they are the ones who are preventing themselves from seeing all the wonders and beauty our world has to offer.

    @ atheistsnackbar
    That's so funny isn't it... I had noticed that you had not written here for a while, since you wrote a very inspiring comment, and I now see that you basically did the exact same thing as me, i.e. not being able to stay away from the "addiction" ;)

    @ Gandolf, again

    Rod has obviously retreat to one of these "last stance" that people sometime talk about... in that case, it is the use of the holy spirit has a spiritual guide!

    Atheists do not believe in the holy spirit, therefore they are not guided by it, therefore they do not believe in the holy spirit. I'm amazed by that logic. Really.

    How can you not instantly become a believer after hearing those words? Why would anyone remain an Atheist when the Bible explains so clearly what the holy spirit is, and why we should believe in it!!

    @ The Atheist Missionary

    The holy spirit never explained that one to me either. We are just not meant to be... we suck...

    @ Brap Gronk

    Congrats!!

    On your mission to find the true religion, you just made an important conclusion: moderate Christianity makes no sense.

    What standards should we use to judge the Bible if the Bible is the word of God, but not all literal?

    What did Jesus die for exactly if original sin is a metaphorical symbol?

    Why would a virgin birth and a resurrection be true, but not a worldwide flood or a talking snake?

    The answer...

    Christians still maintains their implausible position, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.
    This is what these people are like.
    It’s how they think.

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  6. Makarios is a Calvinist, then?

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