Misunderstanding And Misusing The Bible

reading-the-bible-835822-mAtheists and “progressive Christians” alike are fond of pointing out things in the Bible they think are reprehensible. Some even claim to know more about these parts of Scripture than evangelicals who hold to belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.

Sadly, these are the people who are misunderstanding passages and misusing verses, twisting them to say what they want them to say. So they’ll take a verse like Psalm 137:9 (“How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones / Against the rock) as proof that the God of the Bible, or the God of the Old Testament, at least, is hateful and cruel, full of wrath and vengeful.

The problem is, such a view ignores passage after passage after passage that reveals God to be a protector of the innocent, a refuge to all who call on Him. Take Psalm 46:1-2 for example:

God is our refuge and strength
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.

Scripture portrays God as the Advocate for orphans and widows. He chastises Judah in part for not living in accordance with His heart in their treatment of the most vulnerable and needy. He pronounces judgment on nations like Israel, Edom, Assyria, and Babylon because they were greedy or their leaders cheated the poor or they employed violence against others.

God, in His role as Protector, pronounces judgment on those who mistreated others. More often than not, He used other nations to judge those whose wickedness had reached a point of no return. So there are passages in the prophets that warn of this coming judgment:

Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished. (Isaiah 13:16)

You can find similar passages in Hosea, Nahum, Lamentations, and Zechariah—and the pictures these prophets paint aren’t pretty. But that’s the point. Judgment isn’t a slap on the wrist, nor should it be.

And it is just such judgment the Psalmist was calling for in the passage above.

Here in California, much has been made of the sexual assault of a three-year-old who wandered into a garage where a young man was working. Because he didn’t behave as a predator, searching out a child to abuse, the judge gave the perpetrator a light sentence, and the public is rightfully outraged. His criminal behavior requires a stiff penalty.

But when God says He’s going to give a stiff penalty to the wicked, somehow many find this tyrannical. Not just.

I surmise they don’t believe those in Scripture who describe God as righteous and good. They don’t believe Him when He says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ex. 33:11).”

Such misuse of the Bible—pulling one verse out of context in order to draw a conclusion about God and ignoring scores of others that contradict their view—is more a reflection on those judging God than on God Himself.

There are other people, however, who misunderstand the Bible because they take it too literally. Parts of the Bible are history and certainly were written with the intention that their readers would take their words as factual. Consequently writers gave genealogies, mentioned reigning kings, noted particular towns or rivers or seas, included details such as a great earthquake or a siege or a civil war.

But another part of the Bible, including some of the stories and analogies Jesus included in His conversations and discourses, have a different intention. Their purpose is to point to a particular spiritual truth, not paint a black-and-white portrait of what God does or does not do.

For instance, Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Since we know camels can’t pass through the eye of a needle, does that mean Jesus was saying no rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven? Clearly not. Abraham was rich, and Jesus told a story about Abraham, indicating he was in fact in heaven.

People who want to apply literalistic treatment to metaphorical language are simply misusing the Bible! I would suggest that dashing children in pieces is possibly an example of hyperbole, taken as an indication that judgment would reach down and affect the children as well as the adults.

The trick, of course, is to know what is literal and what is metaphorical. Some things are obvious such as the fantasy stories in the Old Testament about talking trees. The people who told those stories were trying to make a point to their intended audience and used analogous language to do so. No one should read those passages and come away saying, The Bible teaches that trees talk.

One way to discern what is literal and what is figurative is by how the people of that time understood the writing or discourse. Consequently, the Jews who built a tabernacle and commemorated the Exodus, undoubtedly understood the first five books of the Bible—their Torah—as historical or they wouldn’t have acted upon what was contained within those pages.

For me it’s a bit comforting to know that the disciples didn’t always know what was literal and what was figurative in the things Jesus said. They thought, for example, that His declaration that He would go to Jerusalem and die and be raised again on the third day, had some metaphorical, spiritual meaning. It wasn’t until after the fact that they realized He’d been talking about literal death and literal resurrection.

My point here is that misunderstanding isn’t something to be ashamed about. Rather, when we come to Scripture, it’s important to hold what we “know” loosely, to do some questioning and some comparison. And never to take the word of a person over the word of Scripture itself.

For example, someone might say in a convincing way that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth, not to be believed as literal, that they are simply archetypes of early humans, that there was no actual garden, tree of life or of the knowledge of good and evil, that there was no talking serpent (I mean, we already discounted the talking trees, right?)

However, the rest of the Bible clearly treats Adam and Eve as real people while equating the serpent with the Accuser, Satan. In other words, the people who wrote Scripture and to whom Scripture was originally given, and those who read it throughout centuries, understood Adam and Eve to be historically real people. So clearly, for us today to say, Adam and Eve are mythical, we would be taking the word of a person who came up with or is parroting the idea, over and above the word of Scripture.

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37 Comments

  1. For instance, Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Since we know camels can’t pass through the eye of a needle, does that mean Jesus was saying no rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven? Clearly not. Abraham was rich, and Jesus told a story about Abraham, indicating he was in fact in heaven.

    Ha…that makes me chuckle. About two days ago I had a protracted discussion with a non believer who quoted that very verse. Her point was that, in her mind, The Bible clearly is opposed to material wealth. Furthermore, the fact that some of us don’t give all or our possessions away and live in poverty proves we are bad Christians. And since we are all crummy Christians, they are off the hook.

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  2. Lovely cherry picking with an imposed interpretation that simply sets all references to divinely sanctioned capriciousness and violence aside from their literal reading – and this done by evangelicals who hold fast to biblical inerrancy! – and chose which bits to take literally and which bits to take metaphorically for no other reason than to fit the designated care of orphans and widows! Who cares that genocides were ordered with divinely sanctioned instructions to kill every man, woman, child, and domesticated beast? Who care that such a god committed infanticide? Who care that this god slaughters innocents? Not Rebecaa, who assures us that atheists must be misguided in such literal reading! But – POOF! – she knows how to interpret these passages correctly and which ones to simply ignore out of convenience. By what means? Well, by Rebecca’s means, of course! For she has the Truth (TM) while the rest of us who read what’s written and comprehend the literal meaning literally (Judges, Acts, Exodus, etc.) are “(s)adly, (snip) the people who are misunderstanding passages and misusing verses, twisting them to say what they want them to say.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

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  3. This is why personal and group bible study is so important. I am still re-reading and re-learning the Word because it eliminates confusion in my spirit. We must understand what is history, parable, poetry, and prophecy or we will be completely lost- and even those parts tend to cause debates.

    Thanks for this post!

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    • Erica, if you stumble across a means to do this, I for one would be greatly interested. I haven’t come across any yet.

      What I have encountered time and time again are historical and literal claims examined by science using reality as the adjudicator and found to be factually wrong (single founding couple, the flood, created kinds, the Exodus, etc.). These findings seem to affect only a few believers in any meaningful way while leaving the rest (like Rebecca) to either claim reality is wrong or shift the factual and historical claim sideways into metaphor (not that believing it to be factual and historical for two thousand years much matters) that supposedly contains some essential kernel of Truth (TM).

      What I have rarely found are believers who do thoroughly study the bible and remain believers. What I have often found are believers who read the bible, learn about its authors and how it was compiled, recognize the scope of its incompatibilities and inconsistencies, and then stop believing in the Truth (TM) as they have been taught to do and slot these works into their proper historical context: a means to create a religious identity.

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      • Rebecca,
        There is an old saying. Study long, study wrong. And I have come across folks who say Adam and Eve could not have been first if Cain was murdered…who murdered him if he was firstborn?

        Yeah, we had a time with that one, but I see what you mean.

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        • Well, I haven’t heard that one. But if genetics is an accurate model of DNA inheritance, then we know humans did not descend from a single couple. We know the oldest Eve in our DNA predates any DNA from an Adam by about 50,000 to 70,000 years and the smallest population bottleneck would be about 12,000.

          That the creation myth in Genesis so closely adheres to the much older Babylonian creation myth (different gods all together) tells us that it was in all likelihood borrowed and not revealed to the Genesis writers. That the order of creation is different between Gen1 and Gen2 tells us that we have different writers here getting their stories a bit mixed up.

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          • Wow..I believe the Word of God over any other creation story only because of my faith.

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          • Isn’t that reasoning quite circular?

            Change the word ‘Bible’ to ‘Napkin’ and consider: the Napkin Religion is the One True Religion because it says so right here on this napkin. I believe it is the word of God because it tells me so.

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          • I normally do not get into a debate over religion and I will not start now, however it is important to realize that the bible contains in it the Truth and that Truth can not be seen without the Holy Spirit. Something a napkin can not give.

            This is why you have the bible vs. Word of God. The Word of God made flesh is Christ.

            Peace and Blessings!

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          • You claim the Bible contains the Truth (TM) because it contains the Holy Spirit. That’s why I point out that if you actually studied it openly and honestly, you’d realize it contains the very faulty works of human authors. The Holy Spirit you think resides in its pages, in its stories and metaphors, often does not come from any Christian source or even Jewish but from a hodgepodge of collected works that you assign to be holy… and just as holy a source as you might assign to a napkin.

            You do know Jesus – the Christ – as a child supposedly slayed a gaggle of dragons, right? Of course, you won’t find that out in your selected and edited copies of copies of copies you call the Bible. Why might that story supposedly filled with the Holy Spirit be omitted, I wonder? Just how credulous are you?

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      • I meant, tildeb…not Rebecca,lol. Sorry. I responded to the wrong person.

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        • Loved The no Holy Spirit in a napkin comment Erica. very nice

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          • Thanks, Wally Fry! I get tired of defending the faith sometimes because we can’t speak truth to others who still have on blinders, but we all must press on in Truth in Jesus Christ’s matchless name!

            What others fail to realize is that many Christians did not believe at first- and I, for one am a thinker and very logical, so obviously something happened in my spirit to cry out to God, something illogical to our finite brains.

            Be blessed!

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          • No, not obvious at all. That you attribute stuff to whatever doesn’t make it actual or true or reflective. It can just as easily be credulity and gullibility that leads you to fooling yourself.

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          • Great point again Erica, when you said you are a thinker and very logical. There seems to be this idea that only those incapable of critical, independent thought could possible believe in God and come to faith in Jesus Christ. That is just not so.

            @ Tildeb. Yes, obviously. She related HER experience. And, likewise my experience as well. Are you so presumptuous as to say you know what another person experienced? I wish I was as smart and an atheist, but sadly I am nothing but a pinhead fundie. Sigh. Maybe some day I will be able to tell others what they felt and experienced, especially when they are too mentally challenged to do it for themselves.

            Why does every single atheist argument hinge almost completely on the idea that Christians are stupid?

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          • I never wrote that believers are stupid. You attribute that sense to me but it comes from you, Wally.

            And what’s ironic is that my criticism – as are many points about the quality of religious beliefs questioned by atheists – is that believers obviously and repeatedly and reliably ATTRIBUTE the causes of their experiences they use to explain/justify/rationalize their belief in some god to that god and seem to have great difficulty understanding that the source is themselves. Attributing stuff to some god is plainly and clearly a transference from the believer to the idea of some god. It is not evidence that something from some god has come to the believer. Yet almost every time a believer is asked how they arrive at some causal claim – lo and behold! – we find the exercise of attributing at work.

            Why don’t believers recognize this exercise? Because without it, religious belief has nothing on which to stand. All evidence for religious belief is of the attributing kind, which I often describe as imposing a belief on reality which is qualitatively different than adducing evidence from reality. Imposing beliefs on reality and expecting reality to comply is not a method that produces knowledge about anything. It is, however, a well known method to fool one’s self. Add some credulity – for whatever reason – and we have a potent mix to believe the unbelievable. I think that’s what religious belief is – a way for people to believe the unbelievable for very selfish and self-aggrandizing reasons.

            I wouldn’t care if the exercise were personal and without public effect. Unfortunately, religious belief is practiced to cause a very great deal of very real harm to real people in real life. The least religious believers could do to reduce this harm is to recognize that their attributions that foster belief in the unbelievable should be bounded by the personal and not exported… clothed as it very often is in piety and obedience to some divine Dear Leader that all must submit to.

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          • Tildeb

            You may not have used the word stupid. Nonetheless, ever argument used against a Christians belief is undergirded with the them that, if we would just wise up and get some sense, we would stop believing this nonsense..therefore the comment stands.

            You arguments are full on insulting references. Credulity? hardly a compliment. The accusation that all religion is just for as you said selfish and self-aggrandizing reasons. Hardly and compliment, and additionally hardly true. That is a blanket statement which is patently false.

            Real harm in real life? Sure, abuses of any belief system cause that,, so what is your point?

            So, basically, if we would just shut up, you would be happy? Got it. Seems odd, this desire to eradicate Christian belief from the public arena. And it is a desire, it is a desire in action. Clearly, there is an objective. Again, odd considering if any believer says there is an atheist agenda, we get shouted down with claims that atheism is not a system.

            Anyway, I’m not going to clog up Becky’s post with endless arguing with you, as that is really your point isn’t it? To distract and harass until we just shut up?

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          • Amen!

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          • No, Wally, I’m pointing out that believers rely on attributions and cherry picking of scripture and convenient use of switching between historical and metaphorical claims of some sanctified spiritus to formulate a celestial Dear Leader to which they can then assign responsibility for their handcrafted theology. It’s called passing the buck and a way for believers to avoid taking responsibility for their beliefs. I’m pointing out that claims made about this god are empty of knowledge value and full to overflowing with hubris and solipsism.

            Don’t blame me for making your religious beliefs incompatible with the reality we share. That’s on you, the believer. I’m just pointing out how you’re doing this and why this exercise has pernicious effects when allowed into the public domain. Stop crossing the border and you won’t hear a peep out of those who don’t share your beliefs; try to insert it where it doesn’t belong – in the public domain – and you can guarantee pushback armed with the clarity of reality that you consider ‘harassment’ to just ‘shut up’.

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  4. By and large this is been an interesting discussion. I’m just sorry that I have not been able to participate as I would like. Tildeb, much of what you say shows your ignorance of the Bible. From what you write, I could easily conclude that you think every Single word should be taken literally. That’s not something that anyone does for any other book, so why should we do it for the Bible? But interpreting the Bible is no mystery and it’s not something that anyone person makes up or determines. Rather, the Bible interprets the Bible. I know that’s not something that you will understand because you just don’t know the Bible at least not well not as if you’ve studied it.

    As far as faith is concerned here’s a little illustration that might help. If I’m in the parking lot of a grocery store, and someone I don’t know walks up to me, And wants to borrow five dollars, promising to pay me back, I would not have faith that his promise is true not because he’s unreliable, But because I don’t know him. I have no reason to believe him. But if my next-door neighbor who has had my back time after time asks to borrow five dollars and promises to pay it back, I would have every reason to think that he will in fact follow through and one day pay me the five dollars he owes me. I would have faith in his promise because I have evidence of his trustworthiness. The same is true about God. We have evidence of his trustworthiness and for that reason only we have faith in him. There’s much more to say in response to your comments, but I think I’ll have to wait until I have access to the Internet with my computer.

    Becky

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    • Tildeb, much of what you say shows your ignorance of the Bible. From what you write, I could easily conclude that you think every Single word should be taken literally.

      Rebecca, it is because I’ve studied the bible (academically) as well as other gospels not included in it, read extensively many of the church ‘fathers’ and letters why this should be included but that one not, have studied the evolution of Christianity over time in the anthropological setting in which many of its books were written, because I’ve had to compare and contrast different versions of the bible and know just how much additional material has been added by unknown authors, studied some its dubious authorship (particularly Job for a thesis defense) that I criticize those who falsely advertise the bible as a coherent and consistent work.

      It’s not.

      It’s a compilation filled with incompatibilities and inconsistencies regarding historical claims, awash with different gods who do different things at different times for different reasons, a book that has incompatible parables and myths and stories, all to an intent. And that intent wasn’t and isn’t to relay some central truth about the reality we share and the agencies it possesses (as believers have been led to believe) but to centralize and justify religious identity as a means to justify political power.

      That’s what the Pentateuch is all about and, later, the NT for Rome. Jewish scholars already admit the first five books are a complete fiction and cannot be used used as any kind of academic reference for historical, literal, or anthropological claim. Christians are slow on the upswing of what this means to their own theology.

      To read this compilation and not know any of this demonstrates the tremendous bias and remarkable credulity needed to consider the modern versions of the bible the literal word of god. And this lack of knowledge demonstrates the scope of credulity needed to align the inherent problems contained within and between biblical accounts with a single message.

      That message comes from you, Rebecca. You are the source of the bible’s message abut love and caring. Not some god. And you are the source because you cherry pick modern scripture… as are all those members from the other 40,000 Christian sects who, like you, presume the source for their cherry picked bits is the same bible for their registered trademark of the Truth!

      This is a rather obvious clue, don’t you think?

      So please don’t presume that those who disagree with you and your selection of cherry picked scripture are suffering from a lack of biblical study. Sure, some may. But many of us don’t. I’m one that doesn’t. I think the main difference between our approaches to biblical study is that you come at your study as a biased believer whereas I come at my study as an academic. The meaning you extract is formulated and shaped and crafted by your belief; the meaning I extract has to be supported by academic rigor regardless of what I may or may not believe. What you singularly fail to do is compare and contrast with an open mind. What you successfully do is use scripture only to support whatever claims you want to make and ignore all the rest. That’s not my fault; that’s a problem with your approach… if your concern is to find out what’s true rather than only find scriptural support for your selected beliefs and then falsely advertise it as if it were true.

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  5. […] Misunderstanding And Misusing The Bible […]

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  6. Tildeb,
    Academic study of the Scriptures is far different from a blood bought Spirit-filled child of God through faith in their Savior and Lord Jesus Christ studying God’s Word to him/her.

    You will always see what you are looking for. You will never be able to reconcile what you see because you are dead in your trespasses and sins and at enmity with God. Your sin nature drives you to disparage the Scriptures and then to have the audacity to try to turn God’s children away from following what they know is true and trustworthy. This is the work of a sinner being led astray by satan. You are only doing what your deceitful sin nature dictates. You are without God and without hope in this world.

    If we come across a passage that we don’t understand, we can just ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us, and He does. He shows us from the Word of God, the Bible, what the passage means. Scripture reveals Scripture, and Scripture is spiritually discerned. Those who lack the Holy Spirit can never truly understand the Bible because of their animosity towards God who has given us His Word.

    Maybe atheists are so daring in attacking Scripture and trying to undermine the faith of God’s elect, because unbelievers have been secretly spreading their heresy within the visible church for eons. Maybe they feel emboldened in their attack upon the faith once for all delivered to the saints because the heresy of false teachers has been enshrined within the visible church. All believers, those who know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ must be committed to the truth of the Scripture and stand fast for God’s faith clearly and succinctly declared in the Bible. We must turn away from lies and hold fast God’s Word because of the love with which He loved us through His Son Jesus Christ. God bless us.

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    • Eliza, you’ve confused yourself with this god you believe exists independent of you and make misguided and dishonest pronouncements left, right, and center, based on this misunderstanding… as if you know. What I’m questioning is how you know and you’ve repeatedly assured me you do because you believe you know. But what you demonstrate time and again is that your beliefs you attribute to your god are empty of any knowledge value about reality independent of your beliefs.

      This is a problem for you and does not reflect on me at all. Your beliefs are yours. The vilification you then foist on me is completely misguided and factually incorrect… not that you care in the least. The mistake you continue to make is extending these beliefs into the real world and then assuming they are descriptive of it. They are not.

      For example, you presume I am dedicated to an atheist view of your god and dismiss the Bible on this basis. That is factually incorrect. I’ve not only studied the Bible academically, I have had to compare and contrast different versions of it. I am well aware of its contents and those that were rejected for inclusion. Scripture has revealed itself to be highly problematic in relation to what’s true in every conceivable way. I know that the Bible you hold in such esteem is at best an English copy of a Latin copy of a Greek copy poorly translated at each stage of these copies, originally taken from previous copies that we can demonstrate are often mistakenly transcribed, freely added to and rewritten and edited and omitted by unknown scribes during its arduous process to today’s version you read. You vilify this scholarship as ‘sinful’ in order to maintain your fiction, that you hear God’s words in scripture and that He clarifies to you what he has spectacularly failed to clarify to generations of earnest biblical scholars. Aren’t you the Special One!

      You see, Eliza, the bias is entirely yours and it is both brittle and fragile. As Colonel Jessop said, “You can’t handle the truth” and so you alter your belief away from scripture itself and into your own belief about it that makes you feel special. There is a very big difference in this method you use compared to mine and yours is an inherently dishonest one because it represents you and not this god you hide behind.

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      • Sure it has, you are making that stuff up, as any child of the King knows. The Scriptures say there is a nation of Israel that God called out as His very own. Is there? The Scriptures say they were unfaithful to God. Have they been? Are they? The Scriptures say that God removed them from the land by the Babylonians. Did they? The Scriptures say that God would plant them back into the land. Did He? The Scriptures say that God created the heavens and the earth in 7 literal 24 hour days. Did He?

        Let me give you just one example of the emptiness of evolution. In order for there to be life elements would have to assemble to form chemical compounds, (we know this happens due to the reactivity of many of the elements and especially with oxygen), but these organic molecules comprised of the correct elements to form hydrogen bonding, would have to assemble to form amino acids, these in turn would have to form proteins. Some of the organic molecules would have to form bases, phosphates and sugars to form DNA which is encoded with all the information regarding all of life on this planet. What bequeathed the stringing of the bases together to give information? What gave this information the power to transcribe and produce action within the cell? See, your just so stories of evolution have absolutely no answer to these questions. None! Coding and commands demands a wise creator as we see everyday in the world of technology. How arrogant and especially evil to attribute such evidences to blind random non-directed forces that just so happen, though impossible by the dictates of chance, to come up with the coding in DNA. Preposterous! No this is all the result of sinful man trying to wipe the evidence of God from the minds of humanity so they can be comfortable in their sin. Here is one of my favorite quotes from evolutionist and Nobel laureate George Wale:

        When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds (personal reasons); therefore we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.

        That is not a rational decision but one driven by the wicked sinful nature. You have no ground to stand on. You are bereft of the truth and deluded by the dictates of your own sinful mind and preoccupations.

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        • Right on, Eliza! When I look at a beautiful website, I ask myself, “Who was the designer?” Or an engaging pc game- “Who was the programmer?”

          A beautiful home…who was the architect/designer?

          Everything, here on Earth has a start from some source and it is ultimately whom we call God.

          The universe has its beginning also…God.

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          • You might want to take a breather from confirming your beliefs and take a look at this.

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  7. Thank you for this great exhortation! God bless us.

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  8. Tildeb,
    I glanced at that article, but the problem is that article must be multiplied billions of times for evolution to be true and the chance of that being the case is overwhelmed by the odds against it.

    The probability of forming a system of 200 integrated parts is 1 E 375 which is way too big for the number of trials needed to come up with the integrated system given the supposed age of the universe, Now multiply that by the 8.7 million species living on this planet. That doesn’t include plants, the bane of evolutionists. I’m not impressed by your attempt and only our glorious God who is the Creator of all could bring about such a magnificent creation. God bless us.

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    • Let’s use an analogy:

      A friend of yours wins the Irish Sweepstakes but another acquaintance is doubtful of this event because it’s so unlikely. You point out that the person did, which is why the friend bought new cars and an island vacation home and a huge boat with a helipad and invested millions in real estate and so on… evidence of sudden and massive windfall of wealth.

      But the acquaintance says they cannot believe such a thing actually happened and gives you the mathematical explanation that the odds of that friend of yours being born and raised in just such a way that eventually places the friend in the right spot with the right money to purchase the right ticket at exactly the right moment is 1 in 10 to the 375th power…a possibility so close to zero that such an event couldn’t be considered reasonable by any reasonable person.

      You point out that lotteries of incredibly small odds are won all the time. In fact, that possibility is P = 1. As for the specific friend and the vast evidence of sudden wealth, you show the doubting acquaintance things that have been purchased that are real and very expensive, but to no avail. The acquaintance sticks with the math.

      You change tactics and ask the dismissive acquaintance to then account for this massive sudden wealth by your friend and they say they believe it was a POOF! event brought about by an unknown, invisible, creative causal agency and that THIS explanation is far more reasonable… because of the math, donchaknow.

      We know P = 1 that natural selection is a real mechanism. We know P = 1 that genetics produces small changes during each reproduction cycle. We know P = 1 that some of these changes increase reproductive capability (fitness) with more offspring that survive to reproductive age. We know P = 1 that simple bacteria can and do develop entirely novel means to find new sources of food and flourish.

      We have no cause to doubt an explanatory model that works unless and until a better explanation comes along. And inserting POOF!ism is not a better explanation because all of its explanatory work is still before it. It explains nothing.

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      • Do you know how stupid your analogy is? There aren’t that many electrons in the known universe so where does all of that material come from for all of those trials?
        Let’s just say, for arguments sake, your analogy isn’t as stupid as it appears at first blush, however, it is impossible. Do you really think that the nonmetal elements just congregated to form all of the bases, sugars, and phosphates that are necessary for DNA? You have to have the information for the blueprint before you can start building. I was just referring to a 200 component assembly that works. DNA is far more complex and the fact that the sequencing of bases gives information for the assembly of cellular material, along with other functions that it directs through tRNA and mRNA is beyond belief that God the Creator didn’t Create all of life and the informational material that makes and keeps life functioning. No, it is beyond belief that you could ever expect normal intelligent people to believe the fairy tale of evolution. It is impossible. As George Wald said, spontaneous generation was demonstrated as impossible over 100 years ago, proven untrue, but I say, in agreement with the Bible, atheists keep coming back to this impossibility because they love their sin and don’t want the knowledge of a holy God to whom the will answer nagging at their consciences.

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        • Probabilities are not reliant on electrons. They are reliant on individual comparisons, and those are – for our purposes – endless. In order to understand how someone wins a lottery, you begin with what you know: P=1 (the lottery has been won) and work backwards.

          Life as we know it is P=1. We then work backwards. Creationists cannot cope with this process because it doesn’t lead to where they demand it end up… with POOF!ism. And that is the creationist’s starting conclusion they mistake for a premise, that POOF!ism is true for which there is no evidence from reality. And that why creationists are not worth talking to: because they demand that their beliefs be considered fact first regardless of what reality has to say about the matter.

          And here’s the point: no matter how much you try to attack evolution, that tactic will never yield what you want: evidence for creationism. All your work is still ahead of you. I’m quite satisfied to spend my time with knowledge produced and applied by the explanatory model called evolution. It works… all the time for everyone everywhere. And the bad news for you is that this model really does work and really does produce knowledge. How you cope with that inconvenient fact is entirely your problem but dismissing it as if it were a fiction rather than the most successful scientific model every devised by man is a sign of your own intellectual capitulation to religious delusions. Your brain doesn’t work when it’s doing religion. And why should any rational person who respects reality waste time with someone unwilling to do the same? That would be crazy on my part.

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          • So you work backwards from the abundance of the evidence of the Creator because of the multitudinous displays of His glory in His creation and you get nothing? You get disorder? You get random non-directed forces? And I am the one who is delusional? I guess you are correct in one regard it is crazy for me to expect one who is so deceived to be able to see the handy work of God in creation. You have your nice and neat unprovable hypothesis that is doing the work that has been assigned for it to do; to delude you so that you join the countless numbers who are suffering in hell for eternity. That is so sad. I really feel bad for you that your sin nature and the devil have deluded you into believing a fairy tale. God bless you through His Son Jesus Christ with repentance and faith in Him.

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          • You have your nice and neat unprovable hypothesis that is doing the work that has been assigned for it to do;

            See? This is the kind of thinking that is just broken. Evolution wasn’t ‘assigned’ to find genetics; genetics came out of evolutionary theory. Genetics didn’t have to mesh with back-working evolution: it could have shown natural selection was false. It wasn’t so. It could have revealed a single founding couple for humanity. It didn’t; instead, it found that YOUR DNA contains the identical damage from an ancient simian virus that YOU share with all the Great Apes. Why your creator would damage all of our DNA this way is an absurd excuse for a model that doesn’t fit reality. Creationism doesn’t fit reality. That’s not my fault!

            Your claim that evolution is ‘unprovable’ is not true. That claim is a lie. It is deceitful. It is not the truth. It is opposite to the truth. You just claim it is so because you REFUSE to admit the evidence for evolution is overwhelming in EVERY SINGLE AVENUE OF HONEST INQUIRY. The ONLY area where evolution is found problematic is with creationism. That’s it. And creationism is a deceit in that it refuse to admit reality has any say over it. That’s not an explanatory model: that’s a tyranny of the religious Thought Police. That’s the sum total of ‘evidence’ against evolution… that people like you require it to be untrue and so you simply believe it is untrue in spite of applications, therapies, and technologies based on this ‘unprovable’ hypothesis that, oh by the way, just so happens to work for everyone everywhere all the time… including you in the medicine you take, the therapies you undergo, the foods you eat, the raw resources you use after manufacturing, and so on.

            Without the model of evolution being used, YOU have to explain why all of these just so happen to work. But you’ve got nothing… nothing, that is, except your religious beliefs that you have convinced yourself MUST be true even though you have zero evidence for creationism from this same reality we share. That’s why I say your brain isn’t working… because you would not accept this kind of reality-denying thinking as a legitimate justification in any other area of your life. You would not pay a mechanic who believes s/he has fixed your engine when you can demonstrate the thing doesn’t work. You would not pay a plumber who declare belief that your pipes drain when you can demonstrate that they remain plugged. The evidence isn’t in some BELIEF: the evidence is in reality by what WORKS.

            And what isn’t working here is your critical faculties that refuse to admit reality’s role to arbitrate you beliefs that are contrary to it. Reality does not support creationism. And refusing reality’s role to demonstarte this to you, you wave it away. That’s why you are delusional… because you continue to empower beliefs over and above and in spite of reality. That’s a mental illness by medical definition.

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          • The theory of genetics came out of the work of Gregor Mendel an Augustine monk who was a Creationist, and had nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. Mendel’s work threatened the notion of evolution, it didn’t bolster it. Genetics is real whatever the worldview is. You have your fairy tale theory about evolution, and I have creation and the Word of God that attests to that Creation.

            Maybe that virus was zoonotic, like the diseases that kill 2.2 million people every year. How would you or the scientists that you revere even know? You weren’t there when the virus struck so you can only surmise what you think happened and of course anti-God evolutionists are going to pay homage to their pet theory because they hate God. Is that really the best that you can do? I would think that if evolution were fact you would be able to come up with all sorts of proofs that are not just poofs.

            Reality does support Creation. Your theory says that all of a sudden nothing happened (exploded, who knew that nothing could explode?) and everything appeared and through unknown forces somehow nothing organized into galaxies and planets and a singular planet populated with life. Of course you need billions upon billions of years for this to happen, because the likelihood of such an occurrence is impossibility. But you evolutionists love your circular reasoning that says but it exists so of course it isn’t impossible. Presto chango, and it all appears contrary to the second law of thermodynamics. These pesky laws just keep getting in the way, better for evolutionists to ignore them then to think about them and realize the laws agree with what God has said in His Word.

            You are just spouting a bunch of nonsense. You still can’t explain, and will never be able to explain, how random non-directed undiscovered and unproven forces could cause nonmetal elements to form bases, sugars, and phosphates and then congregate to form DNA and somehow in that formation produce the information necessary to direct the function of all cells, both single celled animals and the billions of cells within all living creatures and pass on the traits between kinds so that there is variation within the kinds and adaptability. You can’t answer that because it could never happen. The magnificent design of DNA screams Designer but you are too busy sticking you fingers in your ears and yelling at the top of your lungs NANANANANANA! You just refuse to see because then you would have to answer to God for your sin. Funny thing though, not really, it is sad, is that you will answer for your sin anyway as will all sinners.

            George Wald 1967 Nobel Peace Prize winner:

            When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds (personal reasons); therefore; we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.

            No proof, just POOF, this is what I chose to believe and therefore it is so. Never mind that there is absolutely no proof, just the fevered imaginings of some scientists gone mad by trying to disprove what they see all around them and what they see within themselves via their consciences, begging and futilely hoping there is not a God to whom they will have to answer, all the while their devotees vainly urge them on.

            This so-called historical science that seeks to explain away the grand evidence of a Creator at every turn on our planet by the puny and nonsensical outworking of random selection guided by nothing: no design, no forethought, no insight, no intelligence, no creativity, is evidence of the sinfulness of mankind and his hatred for his Creator which again is revealed by God in His Word the Bible. The very fact that you labor so hard to prove there isn’t a God proves the exact opposite. For if God didn’t exist why try proving something untrue that isn’t real. You could instead go on in your blatant ignorance and revel in your pitiful theory of evolution and have patronizing pity for those who know and rely upon God daily.

            There are so many more evidences for God’s existence, but you have your closed mind made up. Maybe God in His infinite mercy will open your heart to believe the truth about Him.

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          • You weren’t there when the virus struck so you can only surmise what you think happened and of course anti-God evolutionists are going to pay homage to their pet theory because they hate God.

            And you weren’t there when your parents were born so you can only surmise what you think happened to produce you and of course anti-ancestor creationists are going to pay homage to their pet theory of POOF!ism because they hate their parents.

            There’s something wrong with your brain here. It’s not functioning well under the opiate of religion. The same scientists you claim are ‘mad’ are the same ones that produce cell phones, medications, and space craft that go to Pluto. Creationists? Ignorance, superstition, and gullibility are the only products you peddle and it’s a poor trade-off. But you’d know that if your brain was back to working order.

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          • You pick and choose to try to make what I have said impotent, but your reply just shows how desperate you are to believe your fatally flawed antichrist position.

            Yes, engineers have made amazing technological advances based upon the scientific discoveries of geniuses from previous centuries who also happened to be Creationists. If it wasn’t for their scientific work that is the bedrock of what scientists know today, we would all be reading mail by the light of kerosene lamps.

            The only so-called scientific discovery that has impeded the furtherance of science is, you guessed it, Darwinian evolution. There are scientists today who realize that evolution is a seriously flawed theory, but because of the stigma placed upon them by a rabid antichrist establishment aren’t so quick to speak out, though many have.

            Yes, geniuses with all of their God given faculties operating to drive them to make discoveries for the glory of God laid the ground work of all of the technological advancements that we see today. Men like Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin, James Clerk Maxwell, Gregor Mandel, Joseph Lister, and one of my many scientific heroes who disproved spontaneous generation, something Darwinian evolution depended upon for its survival, and did so much good for the human race, Louis Pasteur.

            Please stop your ranting and raving. Admit that God is willing to save you if you will but repent of your sin and bend the knee to His Son Jesus Christ. God can have mercy on any sinner because of the great work done by His Son who died on the cross so your sins can be forgiven and rose again from the dead so that we can have eternal life. May God bless you through His infinite mercy and glorious grace.

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