Dialogue with Ben

Ben: If I understand you correctly, you may not be able to comprehend why some people would hurt others, but you wouldn’t say that their path in life; their ultimate goal, is any less valid than your own. Have I represented you accurately?
Thomas: Not exactly. I can’t comprehend why people hurt others because I’m not in their skin, soul, whatever and because what I have learned about myself has made hurting others on purpose incomprehensible. I have no way of knowing why others do what they do and don’t see how I can judge them.
Ben: You said that in your worldview, the world should be a place “where everyone accepts everyone”. Why?
Thomas: “Should” is the operative word in that statement. It is not the way the world is, it will not be that in my lifetime and probably never but my view of a perfect world, heaven, if you will, is one in which everyone accepts everyone else. I use the word “accepts” rather than “love” because love is a word that has too much emotion and misunderstanding attached but I am basically talking about Christ’s central message of love for everyone. The reason everyone should accept everyone, other than because it is what Christ wanted, is that to do otherwise is frequently a source of conflict.
Ben: What if butchering another human makes someone happy?
Thomas: Accepting a person as they are does not include accepting certain behaviors.
Ben: Should we judge or encourage a serial killer like Tommy Lynn Sells?
Thomas: Judging his actions is a no-brainer. Putting him away forever or killing him is all fine with me.
Ben: Why should everyone accept everyone?
Thomas: It’s really hard to love someone if you don’t accept them for who they are. Accepting is not condoning or agreeing with; it is “I see you as a person.”
Ben: Why should we love everyone?
Thomas: Maybe you think Satan wrote Matthew 5: 43-48 and Luke 6:27 or are you picking and choosing? But rather than rely on the Bible I’ll give you my own answer from my own life. While trying to follow the advice from your savior, Jesus, I have found that the more successful I am at loving neighbors and enemies the happier I am. Hating Tommy Sells may make you feel better and if that is the case, it is what you should do. Finding it in my heart to love him, while difficult, makes me feel better. Do I love him enough to think he should be running around in society? Hell no.
Ben: Is your worldview morally superior to the worldview of Tommy Lynn Sells?
Thomas: Sells is a character in my life similar to the ghosts in Pac-Man. I have no morally superior worldview
Ben: Do you exist in a worldview of total relativism where anything is right for anyone?
Thomas: I exist in a place where there is only one person I can change and, thus, only one person to judge. Put me on Sell’s jury and I’d judge his actions unacceptable and I wouldn’t care much what happened to his body but I might feel some compassion for his soul (if I was in a dualistic mood). I have no idea what is right for you or for Sells or anyone else.
Ben: Would you appeal to the Bible? But if you do, why reject so much of it while taking just the parts that you like?
Thomas: Gosh, Ben, it seems to me you are rejecting the passages I cited above. Of course I take the parts I like as do you. There is enough contradiction in the Bible to make everyone happy.
As an aside, I’ve done some research into religion and serial killers and haven’t found one that came from an atheist upbringing so I was further amused at Sells statement: “I’ve made my peace with my maker.”

Another country heard from

Thomas, you wrote, ” I do believe there was a man named Jesus who grew up in Nazareth.”

I don’t. I’ve only recently come to this conclusion after I read this:

http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-historical-evidence-for-jesus.html

Good stuff, though, even if he was a myth… If only people read the Jefferson Bible instead of the King James version.

Another Country

Thank you, Another Country. The link is excellent and I think we are in agreement that there is good stuff in the New Testament whether or not Jesus put on his sandals one foot at a time or if he existed. My fundamentalist friend, Michael, thinks there is good stuff also; I have asked him twice which was more important believing Jesus was the way to heaven or living a good life. He has not answered either time which leads me to believe he thinks believing is more important than understanding or doing.
I tend to believe there was a man who got it right who lived about the time attributed to Jesus and that a number of people heard him and realized he was onto something. The disciples became, if not already, itinerant preachers. They tried to get people to understand the message and as they traveled around they embellished the story creating the myth that is the New Testament. Folks who use their minds, however they got them, can see the beauty of the message of loving everyone and try to bring it into their own lives. Followers, dare I say sheep, pick up the easy way which was probably not part of the original message and can go to bed comforted every night because they have accepted Jesus as their savior and whatever they did during the day is less important. I feel quite sure that the person who understood loving neighbors and enemies as stated directly and through the parables never said he was the way into heaven as that notion is not at all loving

Michael dialogue continued (3)

Thomas: Michael, you wrote “He (God) said He created nature and all creation that would cause men to ask questions and search for who made all of this.” I think you are making my case. You are saying God made creation so we would think. Beautiful. My point exactly. Ask questions; ask questions about creation, who created all of this. YES! That is spot on. And then along comes Satan and he doesn’t want us to think about God’s creation, he wants us to focus on his words.
I’m going to get off the Satan bandwagon for a moment and say something real. The Bible was written by men who were doing exactly what you say God wanted them and us to do, to ask questions. The Bible is their answer (which, if you believe in Satan, could have been influenced by him), the answer of men who knew so much less about the world than we know today. I think we, those of us living today, should do exactly what you say, “ask questions and search for who made all of this.”

Michael: Oh, I think I am seeing what you are saying now.  Are you saying we should more trust his creation (all that we see and experience) rather than this book containing his “supposed” words?
Thomas: Yes.
Michael: Well, we know from Josephus and other non Biblical sources that Jesus really existed and was gathering lots of attention from his miracles and from the fact He claimed to be God.

Thomas: There are those who dispute the existence of Jesus but I’m not one of them. I do believe there was a man named Jesus who grew up in Nazareth. I believe he was one of the great, perhaps the greatest, philosophers of living using philosophy and psychology. That he wasn’t born in December seems unimportant unless you are an astrologer. That miracles were added to his story by those who wrote his story is, I feel, unfortunate as it makes a lot of people skeptical. His teaching of love, his parables, great quotes, that when he spoke of the Ten Commandments he left out the first three are all believable to me. Why anyone who understands life would need the miracles to believe in his wisdom is beyond my comprehension.

Michael: If all we look at is creation for evidence of God, we would never know about Jesus’ claims to be God.

Thomas: You are saying God’s creation is not evidence enough for you.

Michael: Generations until the end of the world would never read or know about Jesus.

Thomas: Have you heard of Homer? Seven hundred years before Jesus he wrote the Iliad with some interesting quotes like “The glorious gifts of the gods are not to be cast aside.” I think Jesus’ teachings would have survived until now if he had written them down without the miracles, as have Homer’s.

Michael:  I think your way is saying that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven and that there is no real “way” to Heaven, so we all should just love each other because we will be together anyway forever.  Is that what you are saying?

Thomas: You’ve got a lot packed into that question. First, I don’t believe Jesus said he was god or he was the only way into Heaven because that would be contrary to all the rest of his teaching. It’s the kind of thing Satan, if you believe in Satan, would have gotten the disciples to write. I think that and the miracles were embellishments to the real story of Jesus life and teachings. If he said anything like “I am the way” his meaning would have been “my teaching is the way, love thy neighbor, don’t have enemies, etc.” Some people have taken his meaning to be “believing in me is more important than living a good life.” That is the kind of thing Satan would love.
When you say “we all should just love each other” I find myself questioning your definition of love in this context. Loving everyone is not the same as loving family members. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how that works, how do I love someone who kills, someone who does stupid things, someone who has stupid thoughts? I think I have figured out how I can do that and it is working out pretty well for me. You’ve probably read my essay on the website on love so you may understand what I’m talking about.

Michael: There is no real basis for that way of thinking and there are no specifics or details.  You would just be hoping.  Jesus lays out a real plan and it is recorded in the Bible.  I don’t see how Satan could benefit by focusing on Jesus so much in the Bible.
Thomas: Not hoping, Michael, just living my life based on learning and thinking, learning from reading what others have thought, learning from experience, learning from conversations like ours and using the gifts I find I have in this life—my senses and my mind.

What do you think Jesus “real plan” is? Is it 1) to love neighbors, enemies, everyone or is it 2) to believe he is God. There is pretty good plan for living laid out in the New Testament. We could say one by Jesus and another (2) by Satan, if we believed in Satan.

What Would Your Wish be?

 

A genie materializes before me and says: “Thomas.”

“What?! You scared the crap outa me.”

“Thomas, I am here to grant you one wish.”

“One, I thought I was supposed to get three?”

“No, that’s in mythology. In reality you don’t get any but I’m making an exception in your case.”

“OK. I wish that everyone loved everyone like Jesus said we should.”

“Eh, sorry, I can’t grant that wish.”

“Why?”

“I can’t tell you. Wish again.”

“I wish that everyone understood the difference between belief and knowledge.”

“Can’t they just look it up in the dictionary? Or Google it?”

“I think I’m asking for more than that. I want all of us to be able to say about our faith, our belief in God, heaven, hell, etc. to say ‘this is what I believe but I don’t know.’”

“You want atheists to say I believe there is no god, but I don’t know?”

“Right.”

“And Christians to say I believe in God but I don’t know?”

“Yes, and Jews and Muslims and everybody who holds a belief in something that cannot be proven to be true.”

“Why do you care?”

“Because if all of us recognized that our belief was ours and we respected everyone’s belief as being as valid as ours it might be a big step toward loving each other.”

Good in the Bible

Dear Bible Believer, Let me get back to your original question: if Satan wrote the Bible, why is there so much good in it?

Put yourself in Satan’s shoes—you say out of jealousy he wants to destroy God’s creation. He wants us to destroy the forests and fields, to destroy the Garden of Eden, to kill all other creatures and each other; he wants us to deny the pleasure of our senses. You say he is smart and crafty; would it be smart to preach the destruction of creation? If he said he was God and preached destruction, killing and denial, would you follow that god? Satan is devious, right? So he causes the Bible to be written and in it he puts some good things like “Thou Shalt not kill. [It’s interesting that when asked to name the Ten Commandments, the first most people name is “Thou Shalt not kill”. It is number six in the Bible.]

While Satan would like to see lots of wars and have us kill each other he puts in the Bible “Thou shalt not kill.” That makes sense to us. It is wise advice. Then Satan fills the Bible with killing.

God is a brutal, bloodthirsty son of a bitch. Here’s one example:

And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.  Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.  (Exodus 12:29-30)

In that one God did the actual killing himself but he also enjoyed ordering murders:

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. God’s words to Moses in Leviticus 20:9

If you thirst for more of this check out:

http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

Dear Bible Believer, how do you reconcile God’s actions, brutal actions and orders with the Sixth Commandment?

I find the teachings of Jesus to be excellent. He taught love. That was far and away the thing he preached most yet much blood has been shed over belief in him. When he says “I am the way. Only through me can you get to heaven.” Where did that come from? It is not loving. It is excluding. I frankly don’t believe he ever said anything like that. I believe those words were put into his mouth by disciples, preachers traveling around spreading his word and gathering followers. It served their purpose but it did not serve Jesus’s teachings or his legacy well.

Satan’s influence – a dialogue

Bible Believer: If Satan wrote the Bible, why is there so much good in it?

Thomas: Is Satan stupid?

BB: No! He is very smart. That is how he is able to lure us to do things we shouldn’t.

Thomas: What is his mission?

BB: To get us to do bad things.

Thomas: Like destroying God’s creation?

BB: Yes.

Thomas: Are we part of God’s creation?

BB: Yes.

Thomas: Do you believe God gave you your body with senses of smell, sight, touch, hearing, the pleasure of sex?

BB: Yeah, I guess.

Thomas: You guess?

BB: Well, I’m not sure about sex. That might be Satan.

Thomas: Is sex something other than a wonderful combination of the senses, might I say climax?

BB: Yeah, but Satan can get in our mind and make us do things we shouldn’t.

Thomas: Sex is something we shouldn’t do?

BB: Right, unless it is between a man and a woman and only because they are married and want to have children.

Thomas: You are married. Have you had sex with your wife other than to have children?

BB: Yes, but that is because Satan makes me do it.

Thomas: Do you masturbate?

BB: No. Why are you raising your eyebrows; don’t you believe me?

Thomas: You are unique. Anyway, your sexual urges come from Satan? How does Satan do that? I understand that he is smart but he did not create your body, the body that has the sexual urges.

BB: He gets in my mind.

Thomas: Your God-given mind?

BB: Well, yeah, but I’m weak.

Thomas: God gave you a weak mind?

BB: Yeah, no! It’s not God’s fault I’m weak.

Thomas: Your God-given weak mind gives in to the pleasures of your God-given body? How does it make you feel when you “are weak?”

BB: I feel bad because I’m not doing what God wants me to do.

Thomas: How do you know what God wants you to do?

BB: It’s in the Bible.

Thomas: If it weren’t for the Bible, you would enjoy sex without feeling bad? Have I got that right? If God had written a manual for life saying “I have given you a body with senses that can bring you great pleasure and joy; I have given you a mind that will help you enjoy your life; I have given you plants and animals, mountains and oceans if you take care of them they will feed your body and soul all the days of your life; if that were God’s word, would you feel bad when you used your body?

BB: I guess not but that’s not what he said.

Thomas: So, Satan can influence people; could he influence what people write or say?

BB: He’s sure influencing what you are writing. Yes.

Thomas: Is my writing influencing you?

BB: Hell no!

Thomas: Do you think Satan could work through religions to get people to go astray?

BB: Just look at history. He does some of his best work that way.

Thomas: Through other religions, not yours?

BB: Right, there are lots of religions out there that have lost their way.

Thomas: What is your religion?

BB: Lutheran.

Thomas: So Catholics have lost their way?

BB: Absolutely! Martin Luther established that.

Thomas: And Jews have lost their way?

BB: They killed Christ didn’t they?

Thomas: And Mormons?

BB: I don’t really know much about them but unless they believe the only way to heaven is through Christ, why, yeah, they are on the wrong track.

Thomas: Muslims?

BB: Isn’t that obvious?

Thomas: So, Satan is winning? All those millions of people who aren’t Lutherans have been won over by Satan even though all of those people believe in the Bible, the same Bible you believe in. They follow, or at least try to follow, the Ten Commandments, just as you do. All but the Jews believe Jesus was holy.

BB: Not Muslims.

Thomas: Actually, they do but they have a more recent prophet who created another holy book, the Koran. Mormons have the most recent prophet to whom the Book of Mormon came directly from God much as the Ten Commandments came to Moses. The Jews have the oldest word from God and the Mormons have the most recent. What makes the Lutherans special?

BB: I just know they are. It is my faith.

Thomas: I respect your faith as long as it makes you happy. However, if it makes you unhappy, I suggest you question it. You believe Satan is smart and that he can work through religions. Perhaps you should use your mind to make sure you are not following Satan, to make sure Satan is not taking away anything God gave you. I’ll get back to your original question in my next post.

Dialogue with JC

THOMAS: Hi JC, You talked a lot about love—love your neighbor, love your enemies, judge not,—but you never define it or tell us how to do it.

JC: Sure I do. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a good example of loving your enemies.

THOMAS: That’s really a story of compassion. I get that compassion is an example of a loving act and that it can be done as a conscious act but it is sympathy or pity for someone’s misery or suffering. What about loving enemies who aren’t miserable or suffering?

JC Name one.

THOMAS Are you saying that everyone is miserable? Now you sound like L. Ron Hubbard.

JC (laughing) That’s a good one! No, you are right, everyone is not miserable.
But there are so many people who are miserable you can always find someone to feel compassion for.

THOMAS But you made loving neighbors and enemies sound so much more wonderful than just feeling compassion or pity. I even have this notion of heaven as a place much like earth with the significant difference that everyone loves everyone. Trouble is, I don’t know what that love would be, you know, how to do it.

JC Of course I can’t tell you what heaven is like or even if there is a life after death but that is a nice image. Why do you even have thoughts about life after death? As I look at it you are having a pretty nice life. Why think about something more?

THOMAS Yeah. I guess my thoughts along those lines are for the purpose of living this life better.

JC You want this life to be better?

THOMAS No. Not really. It’s like playing golf. I don’t want the course to change, to get better. I just want to get better at my game because the better I play, the more enjoyable the game is.

JC What if you became perfect at the game and shot eagles and holes in one every time?

THOMAS I’d probably quit like I quit playing video games when they stop being a challenge.

JC So if you perfect living, you’ll kill yourself?

THOMAS My turn to laugh. Perfect living? No matter how many times I rewrite our dialogue, it will never be perfect. I have lived some amazingly wonderful days but I doubt that any could be counted “perfect”. I often tell people that if I ever perfect gardening, I’ll quite because it is the challenge I love most. I love solving problems.

JC You asked me how to love. You must know the answer since you just said you love solving problems.

THOMAS Loving something I do is not the same as loving a person.

JC But what did you mean when you used the word?

THOMAS I meant I enjoy it; I enjoy challenges and solving problems. I sure don’t feel compassion for the problems, I can tell you that.

JC Before you got married did you want to love somebody and would you consider that a challenge?

THOMAS I wanted to get laid and I loved the challenge and solving the problem. Frankly, I don’t recall considering finding a wife or soul mate a challenge or problem. Did I want to love someone? Actually it was more of a challenge to make it clear that I did not want to commit to anyone so I was always careful not to use the word love.

JC But now you have been married for 40 years.

THOMAS Yes.

JC To the same woman.

THOMAS Yes.

JC Do you love her?

THOMAS Yes. Without hesitation, yes. More now than when we were married.

JC You sound like an expert on love.

THOMAS If there were such a thing, I’d take out papers. Yeah, I think I know a lot about…no, I take that back. I know how to make love. I know how to get along with my wife…most of the time. When I wish newly weds well I tell them if they want it to last, they will have to work at it, that the wedding is not the end but just the beginning and when I talk to couples who have been married for a long time they nod in agreement when I compliment them on all the work they have put in to stay married all those years. But I’m still not sure I know what love is.

JC What is the work that keeps a marriage going?

THOMAS Oh, gosh. It’s a lot of little things. Early on it is trying to keep out of trouble. (laughs) OK here’s one—Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday—food, friends, family—what could be better. We have hosted it for nearly forty years. It took me several years to figure out how to get through this wonderful time without pissing my wife off. First, the house needs to be cleaned for company. Then there is the stress of cooking a big meal involving a big bird. I say it took several years. To be honest it was probably 25 or 30 before I was able to keep her happy through the ordeal. First, it was don’t watch football, then don’t even sit down. Some of this seemed unfair to me until I got a better idea of what was going on with her. She was very busy, albeit doing things she likes to do, and seeing me sitting around rankled. Then I figured out that life got a lot better if I asked her if there was anything I could do to help. Sometimes there was, at which point I jumped right to it because putting it off pissed her off. When the job was done I’d report back for the next assignment. There seldom was a second assignment in which case I was allowed to sit down and read or whatever but then I wasn’t a bump on a log but a servant in waiting.

JC So you were able see her position—you empathized with her.

THOMAS Yeah, I guess that’s it. Oh, and I also found that random acts of kindness like doing the dishes without being asked gains points. There are certain times when I do the dishes and we both understand it is my job like Thanksgiving and certain nights of the week but I get extra points for just doing them when not expected to.

JC Empathy again.

THOMAS If empathy is so important, why didn’t you say so? Why didn’t you say “Empathize with thy neighbor” instead of “love thy neighbor?”

JC I did.

THOMAS Not that I read.

JC Keep in mind that none of my words as you read them was written by me. They were written by good men who thought I spoke wisdom and they wanted to spread the wisdom to everyone. In the process they added some things and left out some things and then those words were transcribed by hand many times over and translated into other languages. Let me ask you; is there anything about your wife that you wish were different?

THOMAS Sure.

JC More than one thing.

THOMAS Two pop to mind. If I think about, I can probably come up with more.

JC Do you wish she would change certain things?

THOMAS Not going to happen.

JC You tried?

THOMAS Yeah, always a big mistake.

JC So you just accept her as she is?

THOMAS Yes, I don’t think I have a choice.

JC I tried to teach acceptance.

THOMAS (excited) Of our enemies, our neighbors, our friends and family, of everyone! Why doesn’t it say that in the Bible?

JC I think it comes through best in my parables. I think they came through best because they were stories that were easier to remember and to translate.

THOMAS “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

JC Yes. I love that one because it turns judgment inward where it belongs and it employs empathy and acceptance not only of the woman who was going to be stoned but to those who were going to stone her.

THOMAS We are allowed to empathize with ourselves?

JC No one better. If you can’t get inside your own mind, you’ve got little chance to get into another’s. Remember “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Unless you know yourself, empathize with yourself, accept yourself; how can what you do to others be right?

THOMAS I’m not sure I understand.

JC Love yourself first if you want to love others.

THOMAS May I ask another question, this is kind of personal?

JC Shoot.

THOMAS Why did you say “I am the way”?

JC Why do you ask?

THOMAS It just doesn’t seem very loving. How can I love everyone and at the same time say if you don’t believe the way I do, you are going to rot in hell?

JC You are right. That statement is contrary to my teaching of love. I never said that.

THOMAS But it’s in the Bible.

JC Written several years after I died by men who wanted to spread my teachings and thought that the addition of that sentiment would help them get people’s attention; same as walking on water, rising from the dead and that my mother was a virgin.

THOMAS They lied?

JC No reason to be so harsh. They were good men who fervently wanted to deliver the word so people would have good lives. Those embellishments were just to get people to pay attention.

THOMAS Today there are people who say it is more important to be your disciple than to follow your teachings—more important to go to church and to say your name a lot than to be loving.

JC Well, there’s not much I can do about that, is there?

THOMAS How about coming back like they think you will.

JC They would crucify me. Been there, done that.

Ignoramus

Anyone who believes the last book in The Bible, Revelation, predicts or portends or has any relationship to life today is…I don’t want to be too harsh; what is the proper word? Idiot; “someone lacking the mental capacity to develop beyond the level of a four year old?” No. No, that’s not the best word. Fool; “a silly or stupid person?” That’s too pejorative. Ah! I’ve got it! Ignoramus! Yes, that’s the right word, “an ignorant person”. To be ignorant is “lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact.” Thus if you tell me “Staggering events will soon shock the whole world! Great prophecies in the book of Revelation show how and when these catastrophic events will occur”(http://rcg.org/books/real.html) I can call you an ignoramus. I don’t mean that pejoratively but rather as an invitation to gain knowledge or information on the book of Revelation.
The ignoramus I quoted is David C. Pack, Pastor General of The Restored Church of God. The likelihood he will seek knowledge or information beyond his silly interpretation might lead one to wonder about his mental capacity but we must keep in mind that religious leaders who promote fear and apocalyptic outcomes are doing so out of their own self-interest. “Don’t squishy doctrines of transformation through personal illumination always get marginalized in mass movements? …the open-minded, non-authoritarian side of Buddhism, too, quickly succumbed to its theocratic side, gasping under the weight of those heavy statues. The histories of faiths are all essentially the same: a vague and ambiguous millennial doctrine preached by a charismatic founder, Marx or Jesus; mystical variants held by the first generations of followers; and a militant consensus put firmly in place by the power-achieving generation.” (Adam Gopnik, “The Big Reveal” The New Yorker magazine March 5, 2012) Those who wish to gain knowledge and understanding of the Book of Revelation might want to read “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” (Viking), by Elaine Pagels or they could start with the review of the book in the March 2012 New Yorker.

Who Wrote the Bible?

Who wrote the Bible? Young men who thought the earth was the center of the universe and that it was flat. I say young because relative to the average life expectance of today they were very young. It was more than 1,500 years after the writing of the Bible that some great thinkers discovered the world was neither flat nor the center of the universe. That knowledge was suppressed by the Catholic Church for another 100 years. If you are looking for answers relevant to modern times, you might find Google a better source than the church.
A believer might say, “Christ knew the earth was round and not the center of the Universe because he was the son of God and he knew everything.” Just because there is no indication that he knew any science is any reason to challenge that statement. Jesus’ focus was on psychology. However, the question was: who wrote the Bible. Jesus didn’t write a single word of the Bible. It was written by itinerant preachers after his death.
If you want a more learned answer, I recommend Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman.
“The New Testament as we actually have it, I knew, was the product of human hands, the hands of the scribes who transmitted it. Then I began to see that not just the scribal text but the original text itself was a very human book. This stood very much at odds with how I had regarded the text in my late teens as a newly minted “born-again” Christian, convinced that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God and that the biblical words themselves had come to us by the inspiration of the Holey Spirit….Given the circumstance that he didn’t preserve the words, the conclusion seemed inescapable to me that he hadn’t gone to the trouble of inspiring them.” (Page 211 HarperSanFrancisco 2005)

The Bible is Perfect

People who don’t eat broccoli are sinners and will go to Hell. Fortunately, if they eat broccoli on the last day of their life, they will be saved. If you don’t believe me, look it up in the Bible.
The 41st president of the United States didn’t eat broccoli. He hated broccoli, in fact. There is still time for his redemption but the frightening thing is that by not eating broccoli while he was president we actually had a disciple of Satan running the most powerful nation on earth for four years. We should have read the Bible more carefully before voting.
You say you can’t find anything about broccoli in the Bible? You just aren’t looking hard enough because you can find anything you want to believe in the Bible. First, you have to believe it to be so then you look until you find what you were looking for. Tell a Jehovah’s Witness the next time one knocks on your door that Jesus and all the people who had a hand in writing the Bible thought the world was flat and they will turn to a passage in the Bible that proves to them that you are wrong, that Jesus did know the earth was round and that it was not the center of the universe. I made up the broccoli part but the Jehovah’s Witness part is true.
Wouldn’t life be interesting if everything were as open to interpretation as the Bible? Imagine: speed limit 50 unless you want to go faster or throw an apple into the air and it doesn’t come down if you don’t want it to.
Not only is the Bible not the word of God, it is so inconsistent it would drive any editor nuts; but for a believer it is perfect.