A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Friday, February 12, 2010


"If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder ... that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death." Deuteronomy 13:1-5

Under this law alone, many people would have been put to death. John Lennon, Spinoza, Isaac Newton, Moses, Jesus ... all guilty of being either a prophets and dreamers if judged from the eyes of the ancient Israelites. Luckily, these eyes are long closed.

Deuteronomy, Chapter 13 is a sermon to the Israelites on the evils of new ideas, aka heresy.

A few verses later (13:6-10) Moses spells it out clearly: ""If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him ... neither shall thine eye pity him ... But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people."

Today of course, we ignore all of Moses' advice in this chapter, but I must ask you. If the Bible is a manual for morality, what is it that causes us to ignore this verse but find wisdom in a verse like that in Leviticus that says to "Love your neighbor."?

6 comments:

HalexandriaAngel said...

This is one of the biggest and clearest signs that we are being controlled. When someone in authority makes the free thinking mind, an evil thing... they are the ones being unGodly. For if God created the mind of mankind, surely it is a favorable thing to use it!. A favorable thing to entice others to use theirs. Pointing out these things is a great service to your fellow mankind. I applaud the effort and the courage.

Become Love! Experience All you desire... The key though, is the time spent reflecting on them. This is where we find understanding, further enabling us to love more. This is called Evolution. This is all any of us need to burden ourselves with.

Experience, Reflect, .. BECOME LOVE! Your ticket please!

Anonymous said...

Andrew said:
""If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder ... that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death." Deuteronomy 13:1-5


Under this law alone, many people would have been put to death. John Lennon, Spinoza, Isaac Newton, Moses, Jesus ... all guilty of being either a prophets and dreamers if judged from the eyes of the ancient Israelites. Luckily, these eyes are long closed."

I don't understand your argument here. It is very easy to misinterpret passages when you omit crucial portions. Here is the entire passage:
Deut 13:1-5
1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
NIV

I don't understand what this passage has to do with "John Lennon, Spinoza, Isaac Newton, Moses, Jesus." To the best of my knowledge, only one of these individuals might have fulfilled the conditions which Moses was proscribing; Moses himself.

Andrew asked:
"Today of course, we ignore all of Moses' advice in this chapter, but I must ask you. If the Bible is a manual for morality, what is it that causes us to ignore this verse but find wisdom in a verse like that in Leviticus that says to "Love your neighbor."?"

From my perspective, those who regard the Bible as a "manual for morality" are extremely naieve. In Western Civilization, the Bible is the foundation for traditional morality. However, most theologians are much too sophisticated to argue that the Bible is some kind of a "manual." The Bible is much too deep to understood with such a superficial approach.

P.S. I'm interested in your response to my questions in the comments under your previous post.

Dennis

Andrew P. said...

What I had posted did not take it out of context. It's the same message.

Heretics, prophets, or anyone who tries to lead an Israelite to another religion should be put to death.

All of those people mentioned, and millions more, can be convicted on those grounds.

Anonymous said...

Andrew said:

"What I had posted did not take it out of context. It's the same message.

Heretics, prophets, or anyone who tries to lead an Israelite to another religion should be put to death."

I did not mean to imply that you took the verses out of context. What I said is that when anyone omits part of a passage, it is easy to misinterpret that passage. It is probably not very important, but we could analyze each individual on your list to see if any of them actually met the conditions Moses laid out. My point is that Moses' command was not an unlimited license to kill.

The larger picture, which you are probably alluding to, is whether Christians today believe it is ever appropriate to kill people who hold heretical theological opinions? The answer is, of course, that depends upon the context. :) Let me give an example. There is evidence that Charlie Manson's murders were the acts of a semi-religious cult. Although Charlie was never convicted of personally murdering anyone, he was still convicted for murder because of his mental control over his followers.

Now, let's turn the question around. As an unbeliever, do you believe it is ever appropriate to kill people for their beliefs, even when those beliefs are personally threatening to you? What about people who are inconvenient, like, the many millions of people who have been killed by the Marxists? Into what context should we place that violence? What standard do you use to judge people's behavior?

Dennis

Andrew P. said...

Is it appropriate to kill people for their beliefs?

No. It's only appropriate to punish people for their actions, and the punishment should be reasonable. Obviously, an execution would have to imply that the person did something really bad, like murder.

So, my standard is based largely on fairness.

What do standard do you judge immoral behavior by?

Anonymous said...

Andrew said:
"Is it appropriate to kill people for their beliefs?

No. It's only appropriate to punish people for their actions, and the punishment should be reasonable. Obviously, an execution would have to imply that the person did something really bad, like murder."

Unfortunately, many people incite other people to commit murder through their beliefs. In the example I gave, Charles Manson, he was never convicted of personally murdering anyone. I'm unaware that Hitler ever anyone. If we judge people exclusively on their own actions, and exclude their ideology, both of these men would have to be held innocent. Coming closer to our present time, I'm not sure that Osoma Ben Laden has killed anyone. In my opinion, these people who have incited murder are just as guilty as those who actually carry out the act.

When other people believe that they have the right to murder individuals whom you consider innocent, and show a propensity to commit those murder, is it moral to withhold judgment until they have had the chance to actually spill innocent blood? If you know someone is going to commit murder because of their ideology, is it moral to stand by and allow that murder? The Biblical position, as expressed in the books of Moses, is that when other people's beliefs threaten your safety, you have the right to act preemptively to defend yourself. If you were in that situation, would you do any differently?

Dennis