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Archive for the month “May, 2011”

Why The Bible Has to be Inerrant for Fundamentalists.

I’ve spent part of today trying to get a particularly dense fundie to answer the simple question ‘do rabbits chew the cud?’. He’s employed every single trick he can think of to avoid answering, including directing me to the thoroughly dimwitted website mentioned in my previous post.

The simple truth is that he’s stuck between two equally unpalatable (to him) options – answer ‘yes’ and he’s a liar, answer ‘no’ and he has to admit that the Bible contains errors. Why is this such a big deal? Most Christians in the world today accept that the Bible is a book written by fallible humans, and that it contains mistakes, bad science, and ideas that, whilst reasonable back in the Bronze Age, now seem quaint and rather silly.

For fundamentalists it’s another matter altogether. They’ve taken the Christian tendency to want to be ‘better’ than all the other religions, and really run with it. I’ve said before that Christians made their god a logical impossibility by ‘bigging him up’ in attempts to outshine all the other gods, and fundamentalists go further still.

The one essential for the fundamentalist, the one belief they cannot give up, is that the Bible is completely without error or mistake. They need to believe that it’s fully and completely inspired by their god, and in doing so they’ve created a problem as big as the omnipotent/omniscient god. If they acknowledge the errors they have to admit that the Bible isn’t inspired – to them it’s impossible for the perfect god to have made mistakes in his sole revelation to mankind.

So they deny, and they deny, and they deny some more. Show them the evidence, the hard facts of contradictions and mistakes in the text and they deny they’re there. Take them by the hand, read the passages to them, and they’ll simply say ‘there’s no contradiction’, even though the Bible is telling them that both Jacob AND Heli were the step-grandfather of Jesus, or is presenting several conflicting accounts of the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb. The smarter ones will start twisting logic and reality into painfully convoluted shapes to try and explain, the thicker ones will merely deny there’s a problem.

Delusion and lying to themselves, those are the only options left to the fundamentalist who is too dogmatic to admit to the hundreds of errors in the Bible….seemingly lying to themselves and others is a lesser evil than admitting that the mistakes in the Bible are there.

I’ve Seen Some Excuses in My Time….

…..but this rather pathetic page trying to explain that rabbits DO chew the cud…kind of….really takes the biscuit. 

My favourite quote?

experts in Hebrew…spend most of their days indoors out of the sight of hares.”

Brilliantly idiotic.

Something for the Wall at Stormbringer’s House

I’m sure he’ll be putting in a bid asap.

‘God Buries the Dinosaur Fossils’ oil paint on canvas

You know, I kind of want it!

More Homophobia from Stormbringer and Rhomphaia

The levels of hatred aimed at…well, anyone who isn’t Stormbringer or Rhomphaia to be honest, but homosexuals in particular over at the Queen Queequeg blog continues to reach new heights of vileness.

It makes me sad to think of these two holy rollers, so desperately full of hate and anger for other human beings, being allowed to spread their message to Rhomphaia’s children (poor kids, suffering being homeschooled by a maniac who makes the ‘God Warrior’ woman from Wife Swap seem reasonable by comparison)

Here’s a choice – you can watch the following video, or you can go and read the sickening homophobia over on Rhomphaia’s blog…but I’d better warn you, the blog is home to some pretty nasty hate speech. Anyway, here’s the insanity of Christianity made flesh on Trading Spouses….

Elisha

Dear Fundamentalists, what’s going on here?

And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” Second Kings 2:23-24

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As a fundamentalist you are obliged to believe this story as factually accurate. Do you? And if you do doesn’t it worry you slightly that you’re thinking that the mutilation of 42 children is a reasonable punishment for calling someone ‘bald’? Surely this is an example of a cruel, bloodthirsty god, willing to commit a vile atrocity to salve the bruised ego of one of his followers? 

What purpose does this story serve, other than to make your god look like a bit of a bully?

101 Bible Contradictions

1. Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
  • God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
  • Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)
2. In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
  • Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
  • One million, one hundred thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)
3. How many fighting men were found in Judah?
  • Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
  • Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)
4. God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
  • Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
  • Three (I Chronicles 21:12)
5. How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
  • Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
  • Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)
6. How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
  • Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
  • Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)
7. How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
  • Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
  • Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)
8. The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
  • Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
  • Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)
9. When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
  • After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
  • Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)
10. How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
  • Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
  • Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)
11. When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
  • One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
  • Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)
12. How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
  • Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
  • Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)
13. In what year of King Asa’s reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
  • Twenty-sixth year  (I Kings 15:33 – 16:8)
  • Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)
14. How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
  • Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
  • Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)
15. Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
  • Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
  • Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)
16. Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of Pahrath-Moab?
  • Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
  • Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)
17. How many were the children of Zattu?
  • Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
  • Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)
18. How many were the children of Azgad?
  • One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
  • Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)
19. How many were the children of Adin?
  • Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
  • Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)
20. How many were the children of Hashum?
  • Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
  • Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)
21. How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
  • Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
  • One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)
22. Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
  • 29,818 (Ezra)
  • 31,089 (Nehemiah)
23. How many singers accompanied the assembly?
  • Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
  • Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)
24. What was the name of King Abijahs mother?
  • Michaiah, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2)
  • Maachah, daughter of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20) But Absalom had only one daughter whose name was Tamar (2 Samuel 14:27)
25. Did Joshua and the Israelites capture Jerusalem?
  • Yes (Joshua 10:23, 40)
  • No (Joshua 15:63)
26. Who was the father of Joseph, husband of Mary?
  • Jacob (Matthew 1:16)
  • Hell (Luke 3:23)
27. Jesus descended from which son of David?
  • Solomon (Matthew 1:6)
  • Nathan(Luke3:31)
28. Who was the father of Shealtiel?
  • Jechoniah (Matthew 1:12)
  • Neri (Luke 3:27)
29. Which son of Zerubbabel was an ancestor of Jesus Christ?
  • Abiud (Matthew 1: 13)
  • Rhesa (Luke 3:27) But the seven sons of Zerubbabel are as follows: i.Meshullam, ii. Hananiah, iii. Hashubah, iv. Ohel, v.Berechiah, vi. Hasadiah, viii. Jushabhesed (I Chronicles 3:19, 20). The names Abiud and Rhesa do not fit in anyway.
30. Who was the father of Uzziah?
  • Joram (Matthew 1:8)
  • Amaziah (2 Chronicles 26:1)
31. Who was the father of Jechoniah?
  • Josiah (Matthew 1:11)
  • Jeholakim (I Chronicles 3:16)
32. How many generations were there from the Babylonian exile until Christ?
  • Matthew says fourteen (Matthew 1:17)
  • But a careful count of the generations reveals only thirteen (see Matthew 1: 12-16)
33. Who was the father of Shelah?
  • Cainan (Luke 3:35-36)
  • Arphaxad (Genesis II: 12)
34. Was John the Baptist Elijah who was to come?
  • Yes (Matthew II: 14, 17:10-13)
  • No (John 1:19-21)
35. Would Jesus inherit Davids throne?
  • Yes. So said the angel (Luke 1:32)
  • No, since he is a descendant of Jehoiakim (see Matthew 1: I 1, I Chronicles 3:16). And Jehoiakim was cursed by God so that none of his descendants can sit upon Davids throne (Jeremiah 36:30)
36. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on how many animals?
  • One – a colt (Mark 11:7; cf Luke 19:3 5). And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it.
  • Two – a colt and an ass (Matthew 21:7). They brought the ass and the colt and put their garments on them and he sat thereon.
37. How did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ?
  • By a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17)
  • His brother Andrew told him (John 1:41)
38. Where did Jesus first meet Simon Peter and Andrew?
  • By the sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18-22)
  • On the banks of river Jordan (John 1:42). After that, Jesus decided to go to Galilee (John 1:43)
39. When Jesus met Jairus was Jairus daughter already dead?
  • Yes. Matthew 9:18 quotes him as saying, My daughter has just died.
  • No. Mark 5:23 quotes him as saying, My little daughter is at the point of death.
40. Did Jesus allow his disciples to keep a staff on their journey?
  • Yes (Mark 6:8)
  • No (Matthew 10:9; Luke 9:3)
41. Did Herod think that Jesus was John the Baptist?
  • Yes (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:16)
  • No (Luke 9:9)
42. Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus before his baptism?
  • Yes (Matthew 3:13-14)
  • No (John 1:32,33)
43. Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus after his baptism?
  • Yes (John 1:32, 33)
  • No (Matthew 11:2)
44. According to the Gospel of John, what did Jesus say about bearing his own witness?
  • If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true (John 5:3 1)
  • Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true (John 8:14)
45. When Jesus entered Jerusalem did he cleanse the temple that same day?
  • Yes (Matthew 21:12)
  • No. He went into the temple and looked around, but since it was very late he did nothing. Instead, he went to Bethany to spend the night and returned the next morning to cleanse the temple (Mark I 1:1- 17)
46. The Gospels say that Jesus cursed a fig tree. Did the tree wither at once?
  • Yes. (Matthew 21:19)
  • No. It withered overnight (Mark II: 20)
47. Did Judas kiss Jesus?
  • Yes (Matthew 26:48-50)
  • No. Judas could not get close enough to Jesus to kiss him (John 18:3-12)
48. What did Jesus say about Peters denial?
  • The cock will not crow till you have denied me three times (John 13:38)
  • Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times (Mark 14:30) . When the cock crowed once, the three denials were not yet complete (see Mark 14:72). Therefore prediction (a) failed.
49. Did Jesus bear his own cross?
  • Yes (John 19:17)
  • No (Matthew 27:31-32)
50. Did Jesus die before the curtain of the temple was torn?
  • Yes (Matthew 27:50-51; Mark lS:37-38)
  • No. After the curtain was torn, then Jesus crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit! And having said this he breathed his last (Luke 23:45-46)
51. Did Jesus say anything secretly?
  • No. I have said nothing secretly (John 18:20)
  • Yes. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything (Mark 4:34). The disciples asked him Why do you speak to them in parables? He said, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given (Matthew 13: 1 0-11)
52. Where was Jesus at the sixth hour on the day of the crucifixion?
  • On the cross (Mark 15:23)
  • In Pilates court (John 19:14)
53. The gospels say that two thieves were crucified along with Jesus. Did both thieves mock Jesus?
  • Yes (Mark 15:32)
  • No. One of them mocked Jesus, the other defended Jesus (Luke 23:43)
54. Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the same day of the crucifixion?
  • Yes. He said to the thief who defended him, Today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:43)
  • No. He said to Mary Magdelene two days later, I have not yet ascended to the Father (John 20:17)
55. When Paul was on the road to Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who were with him hear the voice?
  • Yes (Acts9:7)
  • No (Acts22:9)
56. When Paul saw the light he fell to the ground. Did his traveling companions also fall to the ground?
  • Yes (Acts 26:14)
  • No (Acts 9:7)
57. Did the voice spell out on the spot what Pauls duties were to be?
  • Yes (Acts 26:16-18)
  • No. The voice commanded Paul to go into the city of Damascus and there he will be told what he must do. (Acts9:7;22: 10)
58. When the Israelites dwelt in Shittin they committed adultery with the daughters of Moab. God struck them with a plague. How many people died in that plague?
  • Twenty-four thousand (Numbers 25:1 and 9)
  • Twenty-three thousand (I Corinthians 10:8)
59. How many members of the house of Jacob came to Egypt?
  • Seventy souls (Genesis 4 & 27)
  • Seventy-five souls (Acts 7:14)
60. What did Judas do with the blood money he received for betraying Jesus?
  • He bought a field (Acts 1: 18)
  • He threw all of it into the temple and went away. The priests could not put the blood money into the temple treasury, so they used it to buy a field to bury strangers (Matthew 27:5)
61. How did Judas die?
  • After he threw the money into the temple he went away and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5)
  • After he bought the field with the price of his evil deed he fell headlong and burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out (Acts 1:18)
62. Why is the field called Field of Blood?
  • Because the priests bought it with the blood money (Matthew 27:8)
  • Because of the bloody death of Judas therein (Acts 1:19)
63. Who is a ransom for whom?
  • The Son of Man came…to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all… (I Timothy 2:5-6)
  •  The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright (Proverbs 21:18)
64. Is the law of Moses useful?
  • Yes. All scripture is… profitable… (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • No. . . . A former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness… (Hebrews 7:18)
65. What was the exact wording on the cross?
  • This is Jesus the King of the Jews (Matthew 27:37)
  • The King of the Jews (Mark 15:26)
  • This is the King of the Jews (Luke 23:38)
  • Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (John 19:19)
66. Did Herod want to kill John the Baptist?
  • Yes (Matthew 14:5)
  • No. It was Herodias, the wife of Herod who wanted to kill him. But Herod knew that he was a righteous man and kept him safe (Mark 6:20)
67. Who was the tenth disciple of Jesus in the list of twelve?
  • Thaddaeus (Matthew 10: 1-4; Mark 3:13 -19)
  • Judas son of James is the corresponding name in Lukes gospel (Luke 6:12-16)
68. Jesus saw a man sitat the tax collectors office and called him to be his disciple. What was his name?
  • Matthew (Matthew 9:9)
  • Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27)
69. Was Jesus crucified on the daytime before the Passover meal or the daytime after?
  • After (Mark 14:12-17)
  • Before. Before the feast of the Passover (John 1) Judas went out at night (John 13:30). The other disciples thought he was going out to buy supplies to prepare for the Passover meal (John 13:29). When Jesus was arrested, the Jews did not enter Pilates judgment hail because they wanted to stay clean to eat the Passover (John 18:28). When the judgment was pronounced against Jesus, it was about the sixth hour on the day of Preparation for the Passover (John 19:14)
70. Did Jesus pray to The Father to prevent the crucifixion?
  • Yes. (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42)
  • No. (John 12:27)
71. In the gospels which say that Jesus prayed to avoid the cross, how many times did he move away from his disciples to pray?
  • Three (Matthew 26:36-46 and Mark 14:32-42)
  • One. No opening is left for another two times. (Luke 22:39-46)
72. Matthew and Mark agree that Jesus went away and prayed three times. What were the words of the second prayer?
  • Mark does not give the words but he says that the words were the same as the first prayer (Mark 14:3 9)
  • Matthew gives us the words, and we can see that they are not the same as in the first (Matthew 26:42)
73. What did the centurion say when Jesus dies?
  • Certainly this man was innocent (Luke 23:47)
  • Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39)
74. When Jesus said My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me ? in what language did he speak?
  • Hebrew: the words are Eloi, Eloi ..(Matthew 27:46)
  • Aramaic: the words are Eloi, Eloi .. (Mark   15:34)
75. According to the gospels, what were the last words of Jesus before he died?
  • Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit! (Luke 23:46)
  • “It is finished” (John 19:30)
76. When Jesus entered Capernaum he healed the slave of a centurion. Did the centurion come personally to request Jesus for this?
  • Yes (Matthew 8:5)
  • No. He sent some elders of the Jews and his friends (Luke 7:3,6)
77.
  • Adam was told that if and when he eats the forbidden fruit he would die the same day (Genesis 2:17)
  • Adam ate the fruit and went on to live to a ripe old age of 930 years (Genesis 5:5)
78.
  • God decided that the life-span of humans will be limited to 120 years (Genesis 6:3)
  • Many people born after that lived longer than 120. Arpachshad lived 438 years. His son Shelah lived 433 years. His son Eber lived 464 years, etc. (Genesis 11:12-16)
79. Apart from Jesus did anyone else ascend to heaven?
  • No (John 3:13)
  • Yes. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11)
80. Who was high priest when David went into the house of God and ate the consecrated bread?
  • Abiathar (Mark 2:26)
  • Ahimelech, the father of Abiathar (I Samuel 1:1; 22:20)
81. Was Jesus body wrapped in spices before burial in accordance with Jewish burial customs?
  • Yes and his female disciples witnessed his burial (John 19:39-40)
  • No. Jesus was simply wrapped in a linen shroud. Then the women bought and prepared spices so that they may go and anoint him [Jesus) (Mark 16: 1)
82. When did the women buy the spices?
  • After the Sabbath was past (Mark 16:1)
  • Before the Sabbath. The women prepared spices and ointments. Then, on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment (Luke 23:55 to 24:1)
83. At what time of day did the women visit the tomb?
  • Toward the dawn (Matthew 28: 1)
  • When the sun had risen (Mark 16:2)
84. What was the purpose for which the women went to the tomb?
  • To anoint Jesus body with spices (Mark 16: 1; Luke 23:55 to 24: 1)
  • To see the tomb. Nothing about spices here (Matthew 28: 1)
  • For no specified reason. In this gospel the wrapping with spices had been done before the Sabbath (John 20: 1)
85. A large stone was placed at the entrance of the tomb. Where was the stone when the women arrived?
  • They saw that the stone was Rolled back (Mark 16:4) They found the stone rolled away from the tomb (Luke 24:2) They saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb (John 20:1)
  • As the women approached, an angel descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and conversed with the women. Matthew made the women witness the spectacular rolling away of the stone (Matthew 28:1-6)
86. Did anyone tell the women what happened to Jesus body?
  • Yes. A young man in a white robe (Mark 16:5). Two men … in dazzling apparel later described as angels (Luke 24:4 and 24:23). An angel – the one who rolled back the stone (Matthew 16:2). In each case the women were told that Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5 footnote)
  • No. Mary met no one and returned saying, They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him (John 20:2)
87. When did Mary Magdelene first meet the resurrected Jesus? And how did she react?
  • Mary and the other women met Jesus on their way back from their first and only visit to the tomb. They took hold of his feet and worshipped him (Matthew 28:9)
  • On her second visit to the tomb Mary met Jesus just outside the tomb. When she saw Jesus she did not recognize him. She mistook him for the gardener. She still thinks that Jesus body is laid to rest somewhere and she demands to know where. But when Jesus said her name she at once recognized him and called him Teacher. Jesus said to her, Do not hold me… (John 20:11 to 17)
88. What was Jesus instruction for his disciples?
  • Tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me (Matthew 2 8: 10)
  • Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God (John 20:17)
89. When did the disciples return to Galilee?
  • Immediately, because when they saw Jesus in Galilee some doubted (Matthew 28:17). This period of uncertainty should not persist
  • After at least 40 days. That evening the disciples were still in Jerusalem (Luke 24:3 3). Jesus appeared to them there and told them, stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). He was appearing to them during forty days (Acts 1:3), and charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise … (Acts 1:4)
90. To whom did the Midianites sell Joseph?
  • To the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:28)
  • To Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh (Genesis 37:36)
91. Who brought Joseph to Egypt?
  • The Ishmaelites bought Joseph and then took Joseph to Egypt (Genesis 37:28)
  • The Midianites had sold him in Egypt (Genesis 37:36)
  • Joseph said to his brothers I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt (Genesis 45:4)
92. Does God change his mind?
  • Yes. The word of the Lord came to Samuel: I repent that I have made Saul King… (I Samuel 15:10 to 11)
  • No. God will not lie or repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent (I Samuel 15:29)
         Yes. And the Lord repented that he had made Saul King over Israel (I Samuel 15:35). Notice that the above three quotes are all from the same chapter of the same book! In addition, the Bible shows that God repented on several other occasions:
i. The Lord was sorry that he made man (Genesis 6:6)
I am sorry that I have made them (Genesis 6:7)
ii. And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people (Exodus 32:14).
iii. (Lots of other such references).
93. The Bible says that for each miracle Moses and Aaron demonstrated the magicians did the same by their secret arts. Then comes the following feat:
  • Moses and Aaron converted all the available water into blood (Exodus 7:20-21)
  • The magicians did the same (Exodus 7:22). This is impossible, since there would have been no water left to convert into blood.
94. Who killed Goliath?
  • David (I Samuel 17:23, 50)
  • Elhanan (2 Samuel 21:19)
95. Who killed Saul?
  • Saul took his own sword and fell upon it…. Thus Saul died… (I Samuel 31:4-6)
  • An Amalekite slew him (2 Samuel 1:1- 16)
96. Does every man sin?
  • Yes. There is no man who does not sin (I Kings 8:46; see also 2 Chronicles 6:36; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; and I John 1:810)
  • No. True Christians cannot possibly sin, because they are the children of God. Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God.. (I John 5:1). We should be called children of God; and so we are (I John 3: 1). He who loves is born of God (I John 4:7). No one born of God commits sin; for Gods nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God (I John 3:9). But, then again, Yes! If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (I John 1:8)
97. Who will bear whose burden?
  • Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)
  • Each man will have to bear his own load (Galatians 6:5)
98. How many disciples did Jesus appear to after his resurrection?
  • Twelve (I Corinthians 15:5)
  • Eleven (Matthew 27:3-5 and Acts 1:9-26, see also Matthew 28:16; Mark 16:14 footnote; Luke 24:9; Luke 24:3 3)
99. Where was Jesus three days after his baptism?
  • After his baptism, the spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days … (Mark 1:12-13)
  • Next day after the baptism, Jesus selected two disciples. Second day: Jesus went to Galilee – two more disciples. Third day: Jesus was at a wedding feast in Cana in Galilee (see John 1:35; 1:43; 2:1-11)
100. Was baby Jesus life threatened in Jerusalem?
  • Yes, so Joseph fled with him to Egypt and stayed there until Herod died (Matthew 2:13 23)
  • No. The family fled nowhere. They calmly presented the child at the Jerusalem temple according to the Jewish customs and returned to Galilee (Luke 2:21-40)
101. When Jesus walked on water how did the disciples respond?
  • They worshipped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God (Matthew 14:33)
  • They were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened (Mark 6:51-52)


 

The Flood

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Dear Fundamentalists
let’s explore the story of the Flood. 
As a fundamentalist you believe this to be true, a literal account of events on a real Earth effecting real people. You honestly and truly believe that your god, enraged at the way His creation had turned out, decided to wipe mankind off the face of the planet. You’d think an omnipotent, omniscient being, capable (by his own self assessment) of knowing all of history simultaneously, would have known from the start that things weren’t going to go to plan and maybe altered his original design (let’s not even get into the fact that he actively tempted Adam and Eve by putting the Tree of Knowledge in Eden, and then telling them where it was). The whole thing seems to have caught your god on the hop, He seems almost surprised that his perfect creation is less than perfect.

So, using his infinite power, combined with complete benevolence and endless love, he wipes out the whole world, with the exception of one righteous family. And how does he do this? Does he snap His celestial fingers, blinking all the unjust painlessly out of existence? Does he use His mind blowing strength to change the thoughts and morals of the people of the Earth? No, He unleashes a global flood, drowning the ‘wicked’ in a sudden torrent, condemning them to a painful, terrifying death, perhaps lasting several hours for many of them. So much for divine justice.

The story of Noah and the Flood is one of the first taught to very young children in Christian Sunday Schools. It involves bright pictures of a smiling Noah loading pairs of lions, giraffes, zebras and other exotic creatures onto the Ark. They then float merrily around for months in a big happy zoo before disembarking onto a green and flower strewn mountainside with a colourful rainbow filling the sky. It’s all very nice, a feel good story for young minds who are excited by the ideas of animals and rainbows.

But think about this as a literal event, really think about it. Consider how Noah would have gone about building his Ark, rounding up two (or seven, depending upon which verse of the Bible you pick) of every single animal that walked upon the earth, or flew in the sky. There are millions of different species of animals, insects and birds and new species are being discovered all the time. Do you honestly, in your heart, believe that Noah literally had such a vast menagerie on a wooden ship. How big did this boat need to be? Certainly far larger than the 450ft that Genesis 6:15 claims (also consider how terrible wood is for building large ships, even with our modern techniques the largest seagoing wooden vessels in the World are a third smaller than the Ark was meant to be).

And what about dinosaurs? After finally admitting that, yes, maybe they did exist, a lot of fundamentalists now claim they were wiped out in the Flood, with their fossilised remains being the result of that Flood. But didn’t God instruct Noah to collect two of every living thing? Why would he miss out dinosaurs? And why are there never any human remains found in the same rock layers as dinosaur fossils? And why do rock layers with dinosaur fossils in them appear below and above layers deposited by water? Or do you believe (as a small number of Creationists do) that there were dinosaurs on the Ark? If you do believe that you’ve just made it even more impossible for Noah to fit every living creature onto his ship!

Assuming for a moment that Noah did somehow manage to cram two (or seven) of everything onto the Ark then you have to wonder how he fed them. Many animals need specialist foods, for example a koala bear needs fresh eucalyptus every day, where would Noah have grown this produce? Obviously he’d have to keep it away from the swarms of insects he had on board, and prevent stored food from becoming mouldy….a task that would have been made very difficult in the sweltering humidity of a wooden ship filled with animals. There’s no mention in the Bible of large gardens on the top deck of the Ark….

What of the crew? 8 people, including the 600 year old Noah, to tend all those animals? To clean them out (imagine the tonnes of dung produced daily!), to water them, to feed them, to exercise them? How did they keep the carnivores away from their prey? It only takes one Lion to get a bit hungry and your antelopes are history. Animals need exercise, exercise they would not have been able to get on board a ship at sea. Consider modern zoos, they need hundreds of staff to keep only a few thousand animals, yet the Bible wants you to believe that a crew of 8, with no apparent training in animal care, looked after millions of creatures for almost a year!

You may counter that your god could easily miraculously feed the animals, and clean up after them (or alter their biology so that they didn’t need cleaning at all, I suppose he could have even made them not need to eat) but then your god could have also just ‘thought’ the whole ‘evil’ world dead in one go, and saved himself all the extra miracles – miracles that served no purpose whatsoever.

A real life Ark would have been a floating hell, stinking of dung and urine, riddled with infection, mould and damp, and crewed by a small family worked ragged with the 24 hour task of caring for the animals. There would be no smiling Noah here.

Even if they survived the year at sea what did they have to return to when the waters retreated? A land ravaged and destroyed, with the earth salted from the sea water meaning that it was incapable of growing anything, rotting carcasses, no fresh water that wasn’t full of debris or potential disease…. the pictures may show a green and pleasant land but the reality would be nearer to what faced rescuers after the Japanese Tsunami.

Then how did the animals get back to where they came from? How did creatures unique to specific islands or even continents make their way home? They would have had very little to eat on their journey following the near destruction of the planet’s ecosystems and the carnivores would have set about their natural food source the second they were released from their pens. Did Polar Bears make their way across areas of the World far too warm for them? Eating nothing but rotting plants? Did marsupials make their way back to Australia, making sure that not a single one of their number stopped anywhere else?

There are further problems. Many diseases that infect humans and animals cannot survive without a host. If (as Creationists claim) evolution never happened, then how do you explain the existence of gonorrhoea, syphilis, and any number of unpleasant ailments that infect us? For these to survive the Flood they had to have been present in the survivors of the Flood…. meaning that some or all of the crew had to be carrying these diseases.

What about racial diversity in humans? If Noah and his family were all of the same racial background (and there’s no reason to believe they weren’t) then everyone descended from them should be the same……unless different racial characteristics evolved, but 6000 years isn’t enough time for that to happen, even if evolution was a fact, which (according to you) it isn’t.

Ultimately the self stated goal of the Flood was to eradicate evil from the world once and for all. Look around you, did it work? If your god is able to see all of time simultaneously then he would have known the Flood wasn’t going to achieve his ends, so why go through with it? Consider how many innocent children would have been caught up in the deluge, children that weren’t old enough yet to even know what sin was…it’s infanticide on a global scale, an act of indescribable cruelty and malice…and yet the architect of this horror is meant to be a ‘loving’ god? Or think about all the animals wiped out, animals that hadn’t done anything wrong at all. Think about all the life destroyed by a god who knew that his actions wouldn’t succeed! god had no reason whatsoever to go through with the Flood, if he was set on destroying life on Earth He could have merely willed it to be and everything would have instantly vanished, why then use such a round about and cruel technique instead?

It is obvious to the enquiring mind that the Flood story cannot be literally true, even from a basic scratching of its surface yet you, as a believer, hold it to be fact! If one of the very first stories in the Bible can be so easily unpicked what hope does the rest of this ‘divinely inspired’ work have?

Chris Taylor of Conroe, Texas, Still A Racist

Chris Taylor is still at it, spewing out racist hate from his WASP1461 sockpuppet account. Here’s some recent examples……

What a model Christian! And just the kind of person no-one would want teaching their children.

Cienkowski – idiot

Joe Cienkowski clearly doesn’t understand anything at all –

C’mon Joe! Why does your god get a ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to logic? The ENTIRE foundation of your argument again evolution depends on something not being able to come from nothing, yet here you are twisting logic to breaking point so that your god doesn’t have to break your own rule!
Joe Cienkowski, you truly are a massive twat.

Christadelphians, Still Failing to Understand Evolution

Under the title ‘Blind chance – or intelligent design?‘ a West Midlands fundamentalist group has, once again, proved that they haven’t a clue where to start with evolution.

The more you learn about the natural world, the more complex you realise it is. From the genetic code in the DNA of every cell in your body to the finely-balanced ecosystems that global warming puts at risk, life is intricate, complicated and awe-inspiring.

Science tells us that this complexity came about by a gradual process of evolution – chance changes, followed by “the survival of the fittest”.

That’s a very poor explanation, failing completely to take the actual mechanisms of natural selection, reproductive selection, and various environmental pressures into account. I note also that they’ve used ‘survival of the fittest’ instead of ‘natural selection’, this always gets pulled out by Creationists when they’re wanting to attack evolution – use a phrase that seems to indicate that ‘might is right’ when it comes to our origins and you’re more likely to get your audience onside – ‘how crude! We’re far more civilised than that!’

It should come as no surprise then that these particular believers jump straight to probably the most common Creationist fallacy, that of Paley’s Pocket Watch, almost immediately –

Normally when you see a complicated machine – an aircraft, a Formula 1 car, even a slick piece of software – you don’t imagine it came about by chance. You admire the design. And you admire the designer.

Many believe life is like that. The product of intelligent design – the work of a master designer. 

Wow, where to start? Well, firstly evolutionary theory is regularly applied in engineering, with software running ‘natural selection’ simulations to improve design – a widely known example of this is the turn up at the end of aircraft wings, developed via software that ran natural selections algorithms to present solutions that the engineers hadn’t even thought of. Looking at the rest of the Christian’s statement – no one believes that complex things like cars, software, or aeroplanes can appear by chance, everyone understands the processes that lead to the finished product.

What did the very first aircraft look like? Was it a fully formed 747? No, it was a basic, fixed wing glider, without power – nothing more than a wing and something to hold onto. Over time, through gradual improvement it became what we recognise today….the improvements will continue though, and the aircraft of the next century, and the ones after that, will probably make our modern jets looks as primitive to our descendants as those early Wright brothers models do to us.

The same can be said of the other examples given by the Christadelphian author – Formula 1 cars have changed almost beyond recognition from their early models, as evolutionary processes of natural selection (in this case selecting for speed and grip) have pushed racing cars into a shape that’s more reverse aircraft than automobile. The processes that have led to this complexity are purely evolutionary, there is no ‘chance’ involved, and surprisingly little conscious design – small alterations are made each racing season, and these have accumulated over time, exactly the way natural selection works in nature.

Exactly the same principles apply to computing – the very earliest computer I owned was a ZX Spectrum, a machine with almost nothing in common with modern computers. Sinclair Research didn’t develop a fully functioning MacBook Air, or Samsung tablet, or iPhone, – no, all these things evolved slowly over time, building on what already existed. There’s an interesting parallel with natural selection in computing – the keyboard. Originally the QWERTY layout was designed to minimise the risk of typewriter keys causing the mechanical parts to jam (something you can recreate if you mash the keys of a manual typewriter), it wasn’t designed to aid speed of typing, in fact it is horribly imbalanced for that. However, because the QWERTY layout has becomes so ubiquitous it is now extremely unlikely that another layout will ever replace it. As a result computer designers and users are forced to work with what’s available – I can type quite quickly on a QWERTY keyboard, but I’d no doubt be able to type far faster on a Dvorak version…..but I don’t have the time or inclination to completely relearn how to use my computers, especially when I’d just have to switch straight back if I wanted to use someone else’s machine.

We’re stuck with what we’ve got as the basic design, and we have to work around that – much as we’re stuck with various faults that were evolved into us many millennia ago, nerves that makes round trips many feet longer than they need to be, lower backs poorly adapted for an upright stance – we can’t go back and redesign the keyboard, just as we can’t redesign our backs, or jaws, or eyes, or any other part of our bodies that have ended up where they are through compromise or the hand of the ‘blind watchmaker’.

Anyway, let’s get back to the Christadelphians where, not content with citing a thoroughly debunked fallacy as ‘evidence’, they then indulge in a spot of quote mining –

In Matt Ridley’s book Genome , he says

“Cells must frequently be given permission to divide, and must be equipped with genes that encourage division, so long as they stop at the right moment. How this feat is achieved is beginning to become clear. If we were looking at a man-made thing, we would conclude that a fiendishly ingenious mind must be behind it.”

Could Ridley have hit upon the truth there? Could there really be an ingenious mind behind the design of living things?

Sadly I haven’t a copy of Ridley’s book to hand, but as he’s an atheist and no proponent of Intelligent Design, I’m guessing that his book continues to explain exactly how the cell division discussed occurs naturally. Much like the Darwin quote about the eye which is often truncated, losing the entire pay off where he explains just how the eye has evolved, this passage only gives part of the story. It’s a dishonest trick, designed to fool other Christians into thinking that their view isn’t fringe lunacy, that it has some credence when, in reality, it has none at all.

Believing that intelligent design is at the heart of life on earth is not absurd, and it’s not a thing of the past. In fact, it might just be the only intellectually reasonable way of looking at the world.

Intelligent Design is just Creation Science rebranded – it’s been thoroughly debunked time and time again (just google Kenneth Miller and you’ll find a host of articles tearing it apart), it’s a dead hypothesis, and it’s intellectually dishonest to claim otherwise.

Science – and God?

Does that require you to believe in God – the God of Christian faith? No, not necessarily. But it does mean that believing in God as the designer is reasonable and logical – it knocks down the fallacy that science and God are in conflict. In fact, the more you look at biblical Christian belief, the more science supports faith instead of undermining it.

The writer is being very careful not to mention what he actually believes here –  Christadelphians are, for the most part, Young Earth Creationists, believing that the Genesis account of creation is literally true. Discoveries in numerous sciences have shown this to be very much in conflict with reality, to the point where it can be said with 100% certainty that the Genesis version is dead wrong.

If you examine what the Bible actually says (as distinct from what many think it says), it certainly presents God as the great Designer.

As already stated though, it presents an account of our origins that has no basis in reality. It also makes some absolute howlers, claiming that bats are birds, that some insects have 4 legs, that the Earth stands still upon pillars with the universe revolving around it, amongst many other mistakes that one would expect Bronze Age shepherds to make.

It also presents the Christian god as capricious, jealous, contradictory, swift to rage, and thoroughly murderous, but Christians try to ignore those parts.

The picture it gives of the created world is one of beauty, precision and astonishing complexity. In many respects its teaching has been shown to be completely consistent with modern scientific knowledge as more and more is known about life on earth – except that the Bible was written long before the science came along.

Yes, reality is very complex, but it’s also a complete mess. with natural form after natural form displaying all the evidence of being built upon earlier traits, often resulting in clumsy, poor, or outright dangerous ‘design’ – would an intelligent designer think that eating and breathing through the same tube was a good idea? Would that designer give an octopus better eyes than his ‘special creation’, man? Why would he give us organs that sit, like little grenades filled with poison, in our bodies, serving no purpose whatsoever? When you look at nature you see complexity, but you don’t see anything intelligently designed.

To state that ‘[i]n many respects its teaching has been shown to be completely consistent with modern scientific knowledge’ is completely untrue. Modern scientific knowledge has taught us that mankind arose in his modern form about 150,000 years ago, significantly further into the past than the Bible places the creation of the Earth! We know from science that the Earth is roughly four billion years old, and that it’s only a little over a third of the age of the universe itself. The Bible could not be more wrong in this respect.

The result is a faith based on fact, not on wishful thinking or tradition. A faith that can profoundly affect how you look at the origins of life – and much more besides. 

It’s entirely based on wishful thinking, there is almost no evidence at all to support it, whilst the facts supporting evolution grow more and more solid each passing day.

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