Standing for the Truth on Gay Marriage

I had a conversation with a bright and reasonable non christian the other day.  During this conversation, she expressed concerns about the church’s stand on homosexuality.  “I don’t think I could believe in a God who did not welcome homosexual marriage.” After thinking about this, I realized that some of the biggest questions that those otherwise open to Christianity have in our day concern homosexuality.   How could a God that says that He is love incarnate oppose a marriage between two people who claim to love one another?  The question is such a difficult one and it is so widespread that I have decided that I must offer my best understanding of this issue to those who are genuinely seeking answers.

What makes the question so difficult?  It is not difficult because it is intellectually difficult, it is difficult because the question hits every human being where we live.  Sex is the greatest gift given to us by God and the idea of doing as we think best is tremendously attractive to sinful human beings.  For this reason, God’s rules are going to be at their most unpopular when they tell us to restrict our sexual behaviour in ways that are not easy to understand.  Jesus Christ would have been enormously popular had he said, “It is a tough world out there, just do the best you can to live a happy life.”  Unfortunately, he said “If you love me, keep my commands” and this can be very difficult.  One of the clearest commands in the Old and New Testament prohibits homosexuality.

Because the number one attack that is going to be levelled against anyone who dares to speak out on this issue is that they are callous and hard-hearted and don’t love homosexuals or understand what they have gone through, I am going to start by explaining my background.  I am not a successful heterosexual who was brought up in a Christian home and who has no experience with the pain of loneliness.  Rather, I am a 47 year-old who has never been married, who has rarely dated and only had sex a dozen times in my entire life.  I was a hardcore pornography addict before the Lord finally delivered me from that completely about a year and a half ago.  I know what it is to be lonely, miserable and suicidal and I have enormous sympathy for those who reject God’s perfect standard because it seems too painful.  I have even written a post where I have tried to minimize the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and I have wrestled with divine severity in this regard for years.  Having said all of that, I have come to believe that obedience to God’s commands regarding sexuality is essential for God’s purpose and I am going to attempt to explain why.

Sexual Brokenness in Our Society

The first thing we need to understand when we consider this issue is the fact that sexual intimacy is absolutely, completely and horrifically broken in America today.  To see this ubiquitous brokenness, consider how widespread abortion, paedophilia, pornography, divorce, rape, homosexuality and gender confusion are in our society.  Now I would never suggest that sexuality has ever been handled perfectly amongst any group of fallen human beings, but anyone with a shred of honesty would have to agree that American society has become almost entirely sexually dysfunctional.  Where did this sickness come from?  While an in-depth discussion of this issue is beyond the scope of this post, let us just say that the “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960’s introduced a “dog eat dog” competition into the most intimate and vulnerable relationships that human beings have and this poison has been slowly destroying our ability to be intimate and vulnerable with one another ever since.  (See “Beautiful Propaganda, Ugly Reality” and “God’s Purpose for Sex” for more discussion on sexuality.)

The reason that it is important to understand that our society is horrifically sick is that those who support homosexual marriage act as though the only alternative to it is a life of loneliness and despair.  In this way, they reject God because they believe He created homosexuals to be absolutely miserable.  Nothing could be further from the truth than this hideous lie.  The essence of understanding God’s attitude toward homosexuality is understanding precisely that God wants something vastly superior to anything we can imagine or think for each and every human being.  God calls homosexuality an abomination because this lifestyle prevents large numbers of people from attaining the true joy and love that God wants for all of us.  To understand this, let us think this through one step at a time.

The Nature of Love

Now in the opening paragraph I used some language that many homosexuals and their supporters found offensive.  I said that homosexuals “claim to love one another” instead of that homosexuals genuinely do love one another.  The reason I used this wording, however, is because it is important for us to understand that the most amazing human love still falls very short of the perfect divine standard.  We human beings think that we love another, but when you look at our best relationships from the divine perspective you see that even the best human loves fall woefully short of the genuine article.  Consider the following verses:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

As I have shared in a number of other posts, God’s plan for mankind is the heaven that is only possible if every human being has the perfect love described above for every other human being on the planet.  If one considers the real behaviour of the human beings around us, one quickly comes to the realization that heaven is absolutely impossible.  Selfish and self-centred human beings are, quite simply, incapable of the kind of love that would make heaven possible.  What is God to do if he wants to create heaven and populate it with human beings?

Loving Others with Divine Help

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  (Galatians 2:20)

The Bible teaches us that with God’s help we can die to ourselves and learn how to love other people.  The keys to this process are a faith that trusts God even when we don’t understand his command and an obedience that attempts to do things which are absolutely impossible within the confines of our limited humanity.  Faith is important because it allows us to transcend the limitations of our own understanding, our imperfect attempts at obedience demonstrate our faith and are essential so that God can guide us toward the correct path.

A Glimmer of Hope

Over the course of my 21 years of Christian life, I wrestled with pornography until God finally gave me complete victory over this sin about a year and a half ago.  When I think about the many years of struggle against my sexual sins and lusts, an obvious question arises.  “Was it worth it?”

As I consider this question, I think about a number of my beautiful sisters in Jesus Christ whom I love and with whom I have genuine friendship.  Before I became a Christian and for many years thereafter, these relationships would not have been possible.  At that time, I had no control over my sexuality and my lusts.  These lusts and ugly thoughts would have prevented me from forming genuine bonds with these women by distracting me from the things that really matter.  Was it worth it to kill these lusts and ugly thoughts within myself through 20 years of struggle and sacrifice?  Experiencing the joy of freedom from sin and lust and the friendship that it makes possible, I can unequivocally say that love and freedom are absolutely worth the sacrifice.

Doubts and Reservations

Now some people may look at the Christians they see around them and express some doubts and reservations.  “No offence”, they might say, “but the Christians around me and those I read about in history don’t seem to be that much more loving than other people.  This path to eternal life and love doesn’t seem very credible.”  This is only one of the many valid questions that one may ask on one’s Christian journey.  Though the questions may seem fatal at first glance, I believe that satisfactory answers can be found if one searches the Scriptures and prayerfully seeks an answer and this website is dedicated to sharing the answers to those questions that I have found in my own journey.  (See, for example, my answer to the above question in “The After Action Report“.)

Conclusion

Any rational human being who is aware of their own faults and sees the world as it is knows that human beings do not have anything close to perfect love.  Any rational human being who has known the fleeting joy that is possible when human beings enjoy genuine friendship and love knows that an eternal life of perfect love would be heaven and is worth any extreme of sacrifice.  After all, if I offered you a mansion and a small mountain of gold if you worked out 10 hours a week would you take it?  How much more should we as human beings be willing to give up temporary and imperfect love down here to attain eternal and perfect love with the help of God?  A genuine believer in Jesus Christ must practice and teach that obedience to difficult commands and faith when things are not clear are the keys to the eternal life of joy that Jesus offers to every human being.  This obedience is impossibly difficult for a human being without the promised divine help, but we trust that that help is available to everyone who seeks it and that heaven is worth any sacrifice.

Those who support homosexual marriage and fluid gender identification cannot conceive of the idea that Christians genuinely believe that the Bible is the Word of God.  Because they think we are “making things up as we go along” instead of genuinely seeking to understand God’s will and God’s word, they think it is no big deal for us to interpret the Bible such that homosexuality is acceptable.  In reality, however, Christians are following the path to true and eternal love laid out for us by our Lord and Saviour.  We must stand for the sexual purity commanded by our Lord and resist the world’s siren call to accept homosexuality.  To do anything else is to compromise the truth and betray our most deeply held beliefs.

About Robert V

Former atheist currently living in Toronto.
This entry was posted in Atheist Arguments, Sexuality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Standing for the Truth on Gay Marriage

  1. Pingback: Christians Keep Trying And Failing To Understand Anything | myatheistlife

  2. sonniq says:

    You think the biggest question skeptics have is about your religion is about homosexuality? Are you joking? I am not skeptical about Christianity. It went the way of Peter Pan, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny about the age 6 or 7. Adults said those were true, too. Repeat something often enough, or change it and take out books that don’t serve the purpose at the time, like the Bible, and you have a good set up for people who need a father figure who loves them and has a plan for their life. Maybe you need that since it sounds like you have quite a few issues to figure out. I believe in the law of cause and effect. I believe you call it you reap what you sow but I doubt you put much stock in it from what you wrote. We get back from life what we give. There is no supernatural super being that thinks and has the emotions of humans. And if he made us in his image he must have been a pretty ugly pre-Neanderthal because you can’t disregard the evidence of early humans. Too many holes in the Adam and Eve story.

    But you think you have it all figured out and you’re going to teach other people? That’s pretty vain, don’t you think?

    • Robert V says:

      Jamie,

      “You think the biggest question skeptics have is about your religion is about homosexuality?”

      You were right and my original sentence was far too sweeping. I amended the post to be more specific about what I meant.

      “Christianity” . . . “went the way of Peter Pan” . . . because of the “Adam and Eve story”.

      I have studied Evolution for 21 years and was a scientific apologist for Reason’s to Believe run by astrophysicist Hugh Ross and Molecular Biologist Fazale Rana. Your assertion that the Bible is at the same level as “Peter Pan” because of the creation account only demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of what the Bible actually says about creation. Do you get your understanding of the Bible from Ken Ham or other young earth creationists? Does it make you uncomfortable at all that you are getting your understanding of the Bible from a man who believes the earth is 5000 years old? Young earth creationists reject all of science in favour of a very simple interpretation of the Bible. If you approach these accounts with any degree of sophistication at all, you will find that the creation account of the Bible is actually an evidence in favour of Biblical Christianity and not at all a weakness.

      “But you think you have it all figured out and you’re going to teach other people? That’s pretty vain, don’t you think?”

      The way I would phrase it is that I know what I have come to believe after years of study and thought and I am trying to share that journey of discovery with others if they are interested. I don’t know what is vain about that. Of course, unless I want to add so many “in my opinion” “it seems to me” “from my point of view” qualifiers to everything that the posts become unreadable, I have to assert certain things without these qualifications. Only a hostile audience would interpret the absence of the implied “this is my perspective” qualifications as being vain. Since I don’t care about hostile minds which I cannot reach, I don’t care.

      Thanks for your comments,

      rob

      • sonniq says:

        Excuse me but who the heck is Ken Ham. I have certainly NOT gotten my understanding of the Bible from him. I’m perfectly capable of making my own researcher conclusion about life based not on fantasy. The Bible has been changed so many times. Books taken out depending on the rational of kings. Christianity is not an old religion. What would make you think that I think the earth is 5000 years old. That’s pretty stupid. You must think Christianity was the the only religion that incorporated a virgin birth. There are many good parables taught in the Bible, but it is not the only place they are taught.

        Yes, vain. You tell people to come to you for the answers. There was not one qualifier that it is just your opinion. I think that is a sin isn’t it? You say it is the way you “would” phrase it – but you didn’t. I have 30 years of study in human nature..I do not need a loving God father figure watching over me with a plan for my life. Some people do. It’s what you were taught to believe. If it makes you happy then go for it. But it doesn’t make it true.What made me hostile were your absurd reasonings. Each person has the right to believe what they want – and when you put remarks on the internet that are out to lunch then you leave yourself open for criticism.

      • sonniq says:

        I have no idea what a young earth creationist is so there no uncomfortable feeling. My approach to the formation of earth is scientific – no “creation” by a “God”. ‘And isn’t it Pat Robertson who says the earth is only a few thousand years old and Adam and Eve lived at the time of the dinosaurs? There are so many Christians preaching their own version of Christianity with a Bible tucked under their arm.

  3. Arkenaten says:

    cannot conceive of the idea that Christians genuinely believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

    Perhaps then, you would like to demonstrate how you know the bible is the ”Word of God”, please?

    • Robert V says:

      Arkenaten,

      Sir Robert Anderson in his book the Coming Prince demonstrates that Daniel predicted the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem 5 centuries in advance to the very day. This is an astonishing prediction. Now some people argue that this is a section that was added after the Church started. The problem with this is that those verses that clearly describe the Messiah coming 2000 years ago are a TREMENDOUS source of embarrassment for Jews who do not accept Jesus and yet they are found in the Jewish copies of what Christians call the Old Testament. Can you imagine the scene? Christians going to different Jewish congregations scattered around the Roman world and saying, “Hi, excuse me, I know you guys rejected Jesus Christ as messiah, but do you mind if I go and modify your holy scriptures so that Daniel predicts the Messiahs coming exactly when Jesus showed up? Thanks.”

      I have demonstrated in my post “Jesus Christ the One and Only” the astonishing facts about the Bible. If you correct for reference frame and interpret the word “yowm” as a long period of time, the Bible agrees with the scientifically determined initial conditions and sequence of events in the creation of our planet and our species. Not only that, but the Bible also says that the LORD “stretched” out the heavens more than a dozen times in the Bible. This was years before Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding.

      Inspiring Philosophy has pointed out that the New Testament is validated as historically accurate and contemporaneous by hundreds of details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIdCRanZZyw.

      But the real reason that I have come to believe that the Bible is the word of God is through experience. I have studied it and lived as it has told me for 21 years and I have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good”.

      rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        Absolute nonsense. Firstly , the Genome Project has demonstrated beyond doubt that humans did not originate from an original pair or a single individual.
        As for prophecies, let’s start with the Virgin Birth shall we?

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        The Bible doesn’t predict that the genetics of modern humanity should bottleneck at an ancestral pair. Rather, the flood account in Genesis tells us that modern humanity should descend to Noah and his sons and their wives. If the flood was local and universal, as advocated by Hugh Ross, it is unclear exactly what the genetic tree should look like. In any case, the genetic trees that are created by geneticists from current genetic data vary greatly with the assumptions that are made about mutation rate, immigration, sample size, gene sequence that is studied etc… There is no way that the scientific data as it is could rule out a human history that was generally consistent with the Biblical account if gaps are allowed in the Biblical genealogies and if yowm can be a long period of time.

        The prophecy in Daniel is sufficient to demonstrate the inspiration of the Bible and I did not mention the prophecies concerning the virgin birth.

      • Arkenaten says:

        The flood account in the bible is also nonsense, although there was a localized flood.
        The biblical story was ripped off from the Epic of Gilgamesh. For the gods’ sake, every credible biblical scholar knows this? This is why scientists such as Francis Collins do not figure this fictitious account into their reckoning. Please gods, I sincerely hope you are not a one of those damn Young Earth Creationists who believe we roamed the plains with bloody dinosaurs?

        None of Daniel’s prophecies came true. Only a biblical literalist would accept this blindly.
        Simply look at Tyre. And please do not start crying ”context” or interpretation or any other nonsense.

        Of course you did not mention the Virgin Birth. It too is fallacious.
        Matthew simply misunderstood or plagiarized from Isaiah.

      • Robert V says:

        As I have stated in my post “Reasons to Disbelieve” ,the flood account is the hardest thing to believe in the Bible. I believe it can be reconciled with scientific facts if one is generous with the interpretation, but I admit that it takes quite a stretch.

        I am a fundamentalist in the sense that I believe the Bible, but I believe in an old earth interpretation. Daniel’s propphecy of 70 weeks came literally true. The old city of Tyre is now a place where fishermen spread their nets after it was conquered by Alexander the Great and that is what the Bible said would happen. There are many unfulfilled prophecies in Daniel and the other prophets, but those of us who believe in a literal interpretaion believe these will be fulfilled in modern times. For example, Damascus has never become a “ruinous heap” in a single day never to be inhabited again, but we think the fulfillment of that prophecy is imminent.

        Jusdt curious, how do you know the virgin birth is fallacious? Do you use the circular reasoning of Hume?

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        *Smile*
        No, I am not going to enter a semantic war over Daniel. Genuine biblical scholars would simply shake their heads and smile at my credulity, so I will leave you with that one.
        The Virgin Birth is fallacious as the anonymous writer of Matthew simply ripped off Isaiah.Naughty boy that he was. And he got the words wrong, didn’t he? 😉
        Surely you know who the prophecy was directed at? I don’t have to spell it out in big letters, do I?
        Surely you are aware of this?
        Even a Catholic theologian like Raymond Brown all but admits this.

        Come on, Rob, this is the 21st century. We don’t stone the kiddies, we don’t burn witches, we don’t have to drive out demons and normal people do not believe in a global flood, any more than they believe in Vegetarian Dinosaurs.

        Ask the Jews. Their ancestors, the A bunch of Aaranid Priests likely wrote the book . When was it again? Around the 9th or 10th century in Babylon, wasn’t it?
        Oh, dear …. I just had a thought. Don’t tell me you actually believe some character called Moses wrote the Pentateuch?
        Please tell me you have at least done some genuine historical research, Rob?

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        I have done enough research to know that I am not very impressed by “expert” scholarly opinion. “Expert” economists think you can print money forever and there will never be any bad effects. “Expert” evolutionary biologists look at life and think that it is obvious that the most sophisticated mechanisms known to man came about through a modified Monte Carlo technique. “Expert” biblical scholars break down the Bible into fictional JEDP sources and “expert” Bible scholars like Bart Ehrman claim that the book of Peter was forged for specious reasons.

        You think I am impressed because some guy got a PhD and says something based on his “expertise”? I read their arguments and I think their assumptions and their reasoning are absolutely laughable. Do you claim to be a skeptic? Than show some skepticism for crying out loud.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        Hey, I am only a layman myself, and there are theologians who hold phds too, right?
        You seem like a smart man, at least offer something in the form of evidence for Moses and the Exodus.
        You believe it, so you do have evidence I take it? Why do you seem afraid to show me?

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        First of all, there is evidence that the Jews were in Jerusalem that dates from about 900 BC. There is evidence that there was a tribe of Egyptian slaves called the Habiru who lived in Egypt centuries earlier than that. Were these Habiru the early Hebrews? How did hey get to Jerusalem? If you don’t know where the Jews originally came from, then the best thing you can say is that the archaeological record is incomplete and inconclusive. This is to be expected, archaeological evidence is by its nature very fragmented. Could you find evidence for other migrations in history? Where did the American Indians come from? Over the Bering strait? Any physical evidence of that?

        Secondly, the Exodus account would not be expected to leave much evidence if true. The Bible explicitly says the Lord supernaturally prevented their clothes and sandals from wearing out and miraculously provided manna from heaven. Since the number one evidence we find in archaeological studies is garbage (pottery) used to prepare and store food, they would not have been expected to leave much of a trace. Another question is if we are able to even look in the right place. Some Christians have proposed a route of the Exodus different than the one that is traditionally taught. This route runs through Saudi Arabia, however, and it is tough for Christian’s to get permission to do archaeology in Muslim controlled lands.

        Finally, I don’t believe in the Bible because of archaeological evidence. I believe in Christianity from first principles and logic and I believe the Old Testament is true because Jesus vouched for it. Believing in Jesus Christ because there is physical evidence for the life of Moses is a little like believing in the United States because I found George Washington’s grave. It is backwards to my way of thinking.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        I am aware of the Habiru.
        So what? There is no evidence these were Israelites.
        You jump from Habiru in Egypt straight to Jerusalem? How did you manage that?
        As I said, there is no evidence to even suggest Habiru and Israelites were the same. None.
        If you have to ask how the Israelites ended up in Canaan then you have not studied the settlement pattern or are unaware of it or have decided to ignore it. Which is it?

        The archaeological evidence shows that there was a gradual integration of tribes, but no mass influx into Canaan.
        Two million people suddenly arriving en masse at the borders of Canaan would have left a lot of evidence. There is not a trace.
        The population of Egypt at the time is estimated to have been around 4-5 million. A sudden massive outpouring would have devastated the Egyptian economy. There is no evidence whatsoever of this occurring.
        Furthermore, the entire area was under Egyptian supervision and an exodus of two million people would have been impossible under these conditions.
        Also there is not a shred of evidence at Kadesh Barnia.

        So, what you are telling me, in fact,is you have no evidence and you are simply hand waving away the archaeological evidence of every qualified archaeologist who has ever dug in the Sinai for the past 100 years and found nothing. And you are going to dismiss the evidence of the Settlement Pattern as well.
        Upon what basis?

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        Thank you! You just made my point. I do believe that the American Indians came over the Bering Strait even though there is no physical evidence because I recognize that mass migrations won’t necessarily leave a lot of evidence. I am not vanquishing any evidence with hand waving, I am arguing very safely that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I am not prepared to jettison the vast amount of evidence for the reliability of the testimony of Jesus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIdCRanZZyw) and the reasoning that I have done concerning the philosophical validity of the Christian worldview because a couple of skeptics dug a hole and didn’t find an inscription reading “Moses was here” and concluded that this means that Jesus never lived and that life has no meaning.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        But there IS evidence Rob, I have mentioned the Settlement Pattern, and this shows what happened in Canaan.
        Have you not heard of this?

        Reliability of Jesus?
        You only have the bible, compiled by he Catholic Church and the claims from unknown authors using hearsay evidence who wrote decades after the character supposedly conducted a ministry in Galilee.

        But we are trying to focus on Moses ans the Exodus Let us see if we can sort this out first, okay?.
        So there is evidence of how Canaan was settled, there is no evidence of a mass influx, nor a near genocidal campaign.

        And the vast majority of archaeologists and scholars across the globe are in agreement, as is every Egyptologists,
        ( except those who are biblical literalists of course) that the Exodus is simply myth. And the evidence show this.

        And still you have not offered a single piece of hard evidence to demonstrate the biblical tale.

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        No I haven’t heard of the Settlement Pattern, but it doesn’t sound like physical evidence it sounds more like a theory to me. I asked you for physical evidence of a mass migration going through the Bering Strait and you haven’t provided any, so I assume that you don’t know of any which is great because I don’t know of any either. So if there isn’t any evidence for this migration, which presumably involved numerous waves of human beings, why would an absence of evidence of another mass migration be bothersome to me? You would be extremely hard pressed to provide a boat used by the Indonesians to get to Indonesia from Asia, but this does not mean that they swam. Arhaeological evidence is by its very nature extremely fragmentary and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence no matter how much you want to believe that you have disproved the Bible.

        We only have the Bible compiled by Catholics? Are you ignorant of the tens of thousands of pieces of New Testament manuscript evidence we have that predates Constantine? And if you watched the video (which you clearly didn’t since the time between my comment and your response was shorter than the length of the video) you would know that there are 17 volumes of evidence that proves that this was not “hearsay” but accounts from first century witnesses to the life of Christ. But you clearly don’t care about any real evidence from a period closer to us historically that would be expected to be more reliable.

        “But we are trying to focus on Moses ans the Exodus Let us see if we can sort this out first, okay?.
        So there is evidence of how Canaan was settled, there is no evidence of a mass influx, nor a near genocidal campaign.

        And the vast majority of archaeologists and scholars across the globe are in agreement, as is every Egyptologists,
        ( except those who are biblical literalists of course) that the Exodus is simply myth. And the evidence show this.

        And still you have not offered a single piece of hard evidence to demonstrate the biblical tale”

        This was Christopher Hitchen’s argument and it is essentially garbage. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence no matter how many “experts” you line up to testify otherwise. There are numerous incidents in history which are “known” to have happened for which we have little physical evidence. This is simply a fact, though you will undeniably call it hand-waving.

        But let me give you what you seem to be looking for. I cannot prove the Exodus account in the Old Testament. Neither can I prove the Flood account. Neither do I understand many of the passages in the Old Testament, though I have done my best in other posts. My faith is not based on this evidence and cannot be shaken by a lack of evidence for the truth of these Bible stories. Is that clear enough for you?

        Given all the evidence, including the undeniably supernatural prophecy found in Daniel that started off our conversation, I believe the Bible to be true.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        Sorry I didn’t address the Native American settlement (yet) as it isn’t strictly relevant to this discussion at this stage but I will gladly engage once we have concluded here, okay?

        The settlement pattern is not a theory. Look up Israel Finkelstein to begin with.

        You continue to throw out the Absence of evidence… trope and I have stated three times now that there is evidence of how Canaan was settled. And it was NOT via a mass exodus of 2 million supposed former slaves fleeing a fictitious captivity in Egypt..
        Let me repeat, some of that for you.
        There is evidence of how Canaan was settled and there is no evidence of the biblical tale.

        Hope this has cleared up any misunderstanding in this regard?

        Yes I am aware of the amount of thousands of fragmentary manuscripts.
        Constantine was instrumental in organising the compilation of the first bibles. A Catholic Bible.
        They didn’t want Marcion to get a jump on them, now did they?

        Okay, I understand your position now. You reject the hard archaeological evidence that contradicts the biblical narrative at every step and simply hang your hat on faith.
        This is the power of indoctrination.
        Fine with me.

        Ark.

        Now we have sorted that out, you still want to discuss the Native American thing?

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        You say this stuff as though you were completely ignorant of the history of archaeology. Experts used to argue that there was no evidence for the existence of the Hittites and then they found some and those experts were left with egg on their faces. “Experts” on Chinese history used to regard many of the accounts of the early dynasties as myths, and then they found evidence and they were left with egg on their faces.

        True experts generally couch their conclusions in very conservative language because they know this history very well and don’t want to look stupid. “Given the current state of the evidence, it seems highly improbable that a slave revolt led by a man named Moses resulted in several million Hebrews migrating into Canan” is the kind of a thing an expert would write. Only a hack like you or Christopher Hitchens construes this as some kind of certain conclusion that can be stated definitively.

        I believe that the evidence regarding the Old Testament is necessarily inconclusive based on the incomplete nature of archaeological evidence. I further believe that the Old Testament narrative is true because I believe Jesus Christ to be a reliable witness for reasons independent of the archaeological evidence.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        First of all I am not a hack. I am merely passing on the information I have garnered from the best experts in the field. Experts who now lead this field after several generations of renowned archaeologists have established the Pentateuch is nothing but myth and historical fiction.
        As far back as Martin Noth it was admitted that Moses was believed to be at best a composite figure from legend.
        Nowadays the best scholars and archaeologists agree he is simply a mythological character.

        Even Albright was unable to match his archaeological finds with the bible dates and eventually had to concede.
        Conclusions are drawn based on evidence. There is no evidence to support the bible, but there is evidence to support the gradual and largely peaceful settlement of Canaan.
        Finkelstein and Devers are both experts. Read them. Or watch a You Tube video or two.

        And I reiterate. You hang your hat on faith, not evidence,

        And that’s okay by me.

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is a fundamental principle of reasoning not a “trope”. Therefore, you are a hack because you deny this basic fact. I don’t care how many “experts” who don’t believe in God or the Bible you line up and swear up and down that these accounts are not reliable. It does not change the fact that you would not expect them to find the evidence that you think they should find if they are not looking in the right place. Given the limited access to various areas in Muslim countries, it could very easily be the case that modern archaeologists are incapable of finding the evidence because they cannot dig where the evidence would be found.

        You don’t seem to recognize that every time they dig up another Tel in Israel they find dozens of things they didn’t expect to find. Ignoring this, you make bold and sweeping claims without any evidence at all. Therefore you are a hack because you do not recognize that a single dig could destroy your entire theory.

        You ignore the positive evidence that I have put forward in the phenomenally accurate prophecy of 70 weeks in Daniel and say that my belief is based only on faith. Therefore you are a hack with no understanding of argumentation or logic.

        You base your rejection on an absence of evidence (we could not find a “Moses was here” inscription in the tiny fraction of the Promised Land that we have been able to dig up.) and I base my acceptance on solid reliability of the New Testament as demonstrated (in the video) by archaeological finds and historical accounts. Therefore you are a hack who bases your beliefs on faith and not evidence.

        Thanks for your comment,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        Robert.

        Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is a fundamental principle of reasoning not a “trope”. Therefore, you are a hack because you deny this basic fact.

        Not once have I denied this. What I have asserted is there is evidence of how Canaan was settled and it was not through the sudden arrival of 2million people arriving the doorstep of Canaan who then went on to engage on a bloody genocidal campaign as per the fictitious biblical tale as recorded in Exodus and Joshua.
        Archaeologists have had full access to the Sinai since the end of the Six Day War. Check your history.
        The bible is not an historical book, but a book(s) of historical fiction. Which means a mythological tale was interwoven in a factual landscape and included people and places. But the central story is nothing but a foundational myth and the majority of the Jewish people acknowledge this fact.
        Why do you doubt it? Why would I lie? In fact why would the vast majority of top rate biblical scholars across the board and almost the entire archaeological and scientific community recognise this as well?
        In truth, there is no positive evidence, Rob, and prophecy is simply hokum, otherwise we would all bet our last dime on Nostradamus and similar and win the Lottery every week.
        It is only biblical literalists who refuse to recognise the truth and those people who are simply uninformed of the truth. But this is changing every day.
        I repeat there is evidence of how Canaan was settled. All you have to do is read archaeologists such as Finkelstein and Herzog and to a lessor affect Devers. The evidence is al there. What are you afraid of? This has been known for several generations. I hope I have finally made myself understood? I’m not making this up for your god’s sake! How dumb would that be? G and read for yourself if you aren’t afraid. Do you want a few links to get you started?

  4. Arkenaten says:

    Oh, and the reason I didn’t bring up the video was not to embarrass you. As soon as the silly narrator mentioned Josephus I switched it off.
    It is nothing but apologetic nonsense and you should have known this. Did you in fact watch it?

    • Robert V says:

      Wow! So open-minded. Do you disregard other people when you see something you disagree with?

      By the way, if you watch the video, he agrees that that section in Josephus was doctored. But you wouldn’t know that because you are not open to genuine evidence.

      Thanks for your comment,

      rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        Rob, I have heard these arguments for nigh on ten years. So what?
        The gospel writers are unknown. Fact.
        The gospels contradict each other all over the place. Fact.
        The Virgin Birth is a rip off from Isaiah. Fact.
        There’s no evidence for the slaughter of the innocents.
        Tacitus mentions a Chrestus. Fact.
        The list goes on and on.
        The video mentions Acts.
        Maybe you should investigate the findings of the Acts Seminar and see what they have come up with after eleven years?
        And for what it’s worth, ( though not mentioned in your video) the nonsense of Paul being bitten by the the snake on Malta? Go ask a herpetologist how many adders/vipers ever lived on Malta.

        And we are discussing Moses and the Exodus. Not the Gospels. Not yet, at least, so please stop trying to drag Yeshua Ben Josef into this just yet, okay

      • Robert V says:

        Arkenaten,

        Every time I drill down on a claim made by an “atheist” scholar, I find that claim to be made based on bad assumptions and poor scholarship. Every time. Richard Carrier, Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins etc… The bias in these “experts” is so rampant that it is a joke. So you tout a bunch of atheist scholars who say that the Genesis accounts are unreliable and what? I am supposed to instantaneously agree that they are telling the truth when they have a 100% record of failure when I have read their papers?

        Let’s take a typical statement made by an atheist hack (yourself):

        Absolute nonsense. Firstly , the Genome Project has demonstrated beyond doubt that humans did not originate from an original pair or a single individual.

        This is an absolutely craptacular level of dishonesty or ignorance. The programs that scientist used to find best fit models of genetic data are available online and you can play with them yourself. With given assumptions about immigration patterns, mutation rates, population sizes etc…. you can get different results depending on what you input. It also depends on what data you use because data taken from different chromosomes disagrees. So please, sell your spectacular level of “I have disproven the Bible” crap elsewhere. I am not buying it and I am not going to buy it.

        My site is for people who want to overcome doubts concerning the evidence so that they can make the painful sacrifices of living a dedicated Christian life and be the best person that they can be through the power of the Holy Spirit that they might be a fit denizen of heaven. I am not trying to “prove” anything to you. You want to have “faith” that life is meaningless, that evolution is true, that you can do whatever you want? That is okay by me.

        Thanks for your comments,

        rob

      • Arkenaten says:

        There is no verifiable evidence for any supernatural biblical claims.

        There is evidence that contradicts much of what is claimed in the bible.

        Re: The Genome Project: This is first religious orientated site I clicked. Might be easier for you to accept and I hope you don’t bitch and whine about bias. Here you go.

        http://biologos.org/blog/does-genetics-point-to-a-single-primal-couple

        The genetic consequences of a bottleneck required by a literal reading of Genesis 2-3 would be severe: at maximum, four gene-forms (two from each parent) would be passed on by Adam and Eve. Interbreeding in the (necessarily very small) population after the bottleneck would result in the further loss of some alleles due to chance alone. In short, the genetic impact of such an event would leave a stamp on the genome of that species that would persist for tens of thousands of generations as mutations slowly generated genetic diversity.
        We can use this information, then, to estimate the minimum number of people that could have existed at any point in time. First we ask how many different alleles there are for a number of genes within the current population. Correcting for the rate at which we know new forms of genes appear (mutation), we can calculate the minimum number of people needed to generate the current amount of diversity. Numerous studies analyzing many different genes all point to a bottleneck. However, these studies are all clear: during the bottleneck, there were several thousand individuals, not two.

        The vast majority of archaeologists acknowledge that the Pentateuch is historical fiction.

        Or do you consider the likes of Ken Ham, and Ron Wyatt are the go to guys and the rest of the academic and scientific world are simply a bunch of liars and conspirators?

        Take a deep breath and relax. No one is going to burn in hell. The truth isn’t that bad you know?

  5. Arkenaten says:

    Oh, and if you want some Religious History let’s stick to your religion – one of the Old Boys – and see what Origen of Alexandria had to say about Genesis shall we?
    How’s this:
    “For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.”

    Who is foolish indeed?
    Any more questions about atheist bias, bad scholarship and poor assumptions?

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