U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-23-2009, 08:49 PM
 
1,932 posts, read 4,256,215 times
Reputation: 1233

Advertisements

Before I would even respond to your OP, let me ask you this:

Do you know what being a "literalist" means? Do you understand the true meaning of the term "literalist"??

It is the same with the word fundamentalist. Being a fundamentalist means different things to different people, sometimes good and sometimes bad, depending on the POV. I myself am a fundamentalist in the sense that I believe in the funadmental tenants of the Christian faith. To others, being a fundamentalist is equivalent to being a member of the so called "Religious Right". Do you see what I mean?

To me, being a literalist simply means accepting the plain, straight-forward reading of the bible. All scripture is to be understood in light of context, place, audience, etc. If it's poetry, then understand it as poetry. If it's historic narrative, understand it as historic narrative. If it's a figure of speech, if it's a parable, if it's symbolism, to read and understand it as such.

For example, when Jesus says "I am the gate", he did not mean he was a literal wooden gate with a handle. When he said "... than a camel can pass through the eye of a needle", he didn't mean a literal needle eye, he meant the gate of a walled city called the eye of the needle. Many times people try to ascribe verses to non-believers when in fact the message was directed specifically at believers.

One has to take all the above into consideration when calling someone a literalist, at least my definition of a literalist. So do you understand why I cannot answer your OP until you tell me what you believe a literalist is?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-23-2009, 10:14 PM
 
37,477 posts, read 25,217,301 times
Reputation: 5852
I will NOT speak for Christy . . . but I have very definite views on what constitutes a fundamentalist literalist mentality regarding the bible. First let me state that I believe Jesus brought the TRUE NATURE of God to us because of the misunderstandings of the literalist and savage interpretations of God produced by the OT writings. The OT was necessary to establish the validity of Jesus as the promised messenger (Messiah) from God as He fulfilled the prophesies about Him. But the OT descriptions of the motivations, actions and desires of God with regard to humankind were the result of savage fear and ignorance.

I know my views will not sit well with far too many of you who believe in the ATONEMENT view of Jesus's crucifixion . . . because God has been so badly misrepresented for 2000+years as the wrathful, egotistical, jealous monster of the OT. I suspect there are few here who are wiling to abandon the magical and superstitious interpretations of God to accept my view of the events. But . . . since the underlying truth of Jesus's singular role in our reaching God is unchanged by any of the particulars . . . it shouldn't matter . . . tho I am sure it will for many of you.

It was because the OT so badly misrepresented God that Jesus was needed to unambiguously illustrate (at the expense of significant pain and death) the TRUE NATURE of God to the barbarous people and leaders of the time. Both Jesus and God KNEW what they would do to Him for His message of love and acceptance . . . (completely incongruent with the warlike "smiting" Almighty God of the Jews). Jesus was willing to endure it anyway to make God's nature perfectly clear. But neither God nor Jesus REQUIRED Him to suffer as any kind of PAYMENT for humankind's disobedience . . . it was simply unavoidable in that barbarous era dominated by savage ignorance.(They knew not what they did.)

I absolutely agree that the bible is a collection of God-inspired works regarding our SPIRITUAL development as a species. But . . . fundamentalist literalists tend to believe it is an inerrant carnal and worldly interpretation . . . as if it were an infallible historical and scientific recording of our human history and existence on the earth. Rather than list all the absurdities that this thinking eventually leads to . . . I will just list a few of the major ones that expose the illogical and magical thinking, IMO.

1. The entire universe and the earth with all life was created in six 24 hour days around 6,000 years ago.(No comment)

2. The first couple . . . Adam and Eve ANGERED God because they disobeyed Him about some fruit.(Come on! God can't get angry . . . let alone over something like this!)

3. This disobedience made all humankind into sinful "filthy rags" in God's eyes and would require a tremendous human SACRIFICE to appease God's Almighty WRATH against such unbelievable arrogance. (Seriously???)

4. Noah literally took two of every animal on earth into his Ark and lived adrift at sea for almost a year. The entire remainder of life on earth was wiped out by rain and floods due to God's WRATH.(Not really worth a comment)

5. The entire 6 billion+ population of the earth and inumerable animal species today descended from the animals that fit in the Ark and those few people on the Ark. (Anyone run the numbers???)

6. God required that Jesus be TORTURED, SCOURGED VICIOUSLY AND CRUCIFIED TO PAY God for that disobedience thing with the fruit and all subsequent disobedience of humankind. (Because He LOVES us so much!!!)

I'm sorry . . . anyone who buys into these and similar interpretations is a fundamentalist literalist, who has a badly warped conception of God's TRUE NATURE and the SPIRITUAL import of the scriptures, IMO. (grabs hat, coat . . . heads for the door!!)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:19 PM
 
1,932 posts, read 4,256,215 times
Reputation: 1233
In response to MysticPhD's post: Someone who says that they believe in the Jesus of the bible is compromising their faith when they only believe certain parts can be true and not others. Even the NT speaks of God's wrath. Oh, but those parts don't count... only the parts of Jesus' love count. Oh, and I suppose he doesn't believe the resurrection happened either .

As for the numbered items, they have all been addressed and answered. If you believe in Jesus/God, they why are those things so impossible to believe? The poster makes them sound like they're impossible and uses them to ridicule and belittle those who do believe in the Word of God as just that. Yet there are ample, rational and realistic explanations for each and every point listed. Simply because one doesn't think it fits with today's "scientific" explanations doesn't mean it didn't happen.

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NIV) - 18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:47 PM
 
37,477 posts, read 25,217,301 times
Reputation: 5852
Quote:
Originally Posted by mams1559 View Post
In response to MysticPhD's post: Someone who says that they believe in the Jesus of the bible is compromising their faith when they only believe certain parts can be true and not others. Even the NT speaks of God's wrath. Oh, but those parts don't count... only the parts of Jesus' love count. Oh, and I suppose he doesn't believe the resurrection happened either .

As for the numbered items, they have all been addressed and answered. If you believe in Jesus/God, they why are those things so impossible to believe? The poster makes them sound like they're impossible and uses them to ridicule and belittle those who do believe in the Word of God as just that. Yet there are ample, rational and realistic explanations for each and every point listed. Simply because one doesn't think it fits with today's "scientific" explanations doesn't mean it didn't happen.

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NIV) - 18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"
There is no need to belittle the interpretations . . . they are simply misunderstandings of the actual spiritual purpose of them. They chronicle the evolution and development of our spiritual awareness from the earliest beginnings of human consciousness. It is only because we try to interpret the primitive "infancy and childhood" of our species . . . AS IF it were chronicling the experiences of modern "adults" . . . that we end up with such illogical conclusions and improbable rationalizations.

The Genesis stories simply capture our primordial consciousness (understanding) of the beginning of human life and chronicle the universal basic experiences (lessons) of human development. The episodes in Genesis describe the basic experiences of all human consciousnesses. Teaching, at the very basic level, requires experiencing more than explanation. Words have no meaning without some base to relate them to. If you sit down and discuss all the ramifications of touching fire with your toddler, you are wasting your time. An intellect without experience cannot be taught by talking. There are certain basics in life that must be experienced.

It is common knowledge that each and every human being must experience and repeat the entire pattern of human development. Each individual must learn everything for himself with the aid of his parents or society. Thus, the womb existence is a repetition of the evolution into a human being, and the various stages of fetal development mirror that evolution. The fetus even appears to have gills like a fish at one stage. The birth represents the seeding of a soul, the breathing into man's nostrils of the breath of life (Atman, Adamah). Infancy represents Eden, with parents as the all-providing God, and so on through maturity. "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be."

Humankind as described in Genesis had just been born. He possessed the mere infant of a soul. A suggestion that this infant soul would be punished for its inadequacies is absurd! Naturally, this soul was inadequate to control the animal body it inhabited. In fact, in the more advanced lesson described in the myth of Noah and the flood (where humankind was surely more developed than in Eden) this understanding of youthful ignorance as the source of misbehavior was specifically verbalized, Genesis 8:21,

. . . I will never again curse the ground on account of Man, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth.

Only by interpreting this passage in the way being proposed does it make any sense. Otherwise the passage would be suggesting that God won't punish man BECAUSE he is evil or some such absurdity!

Clearly, our infant consciousness wasn't expected to be able to control its body, because it was the mere seed of a soul. A seed bears no fruit. It must germinate into a full-fledged tree bearing the fruit of eternal life. Therein is probably the explanation of the kingdom of God described by Jesus in the parable of the mustard seed.

Somehow this mere seed of a soul, this minute consciousness, has to become aware of the basic process it must perform to produce eternal life. You don't try to teach calculus to a toddler. You must start with very basic concepts and build upon them. First this soul had to learn that there was something to achieve. Then it had to be given a rudimentary idea of how to achieve it.

Since the process for achieving our purpose consists of controlling our animal nature and eliminating certain destructive responses, this basic idea of selective satisfaction of our internal desires had to be conveyed to the infant soul. Left on its own in its animal body, it wouldn't have the faintest idea that there was any need to differentiate between good and bad behavior. To an animal, all responses to its inner drives are "good."

Without external teaching and an external referent, this infant soul would have learned this erroneous concept from its animal nature, and continued to react without censure and control. In fact, it would devote itself to perfecting means of satisfying all of its animal drives. It would become a truly superior animal. It would kill more efficiently, hate more efficiently, be greedier, be more vengeful, create orgies and debaucheries to increase sexual satisfaction, and so on. Seem familiar?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,284,911 times
Reputation: 420
I am the least proponent, although a Preterist, to draw the "this generation" card, but the Olivet Discourse was only a couple of chapters...that can be spoken in a few minutes time, so saying "this generation" once, would appear to suffice and provide the backdrop time stamp generously. The same goes for Revelation..at hand is ἐγγύς which is derivative of ἀγκάλη both deducing near proximity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:57 PM
 
1,932 posts, read 4,256,215 times
Reputation: 1233
We just won't see eye to eye on this topic. Genesis is written in historic narrative prose. Because you have already accepted the misinformation that we evolved from molecules, Genesis therefore can be nothing more than a "spiritual story" instead of historic accounts which then forces the 'reinterpretation' of the entire bible.

Genesis is the foundation of the gospel. It's very difficult to see the need for Jesus and the gospel if Genesis does not mean what it clearly states.

But again, that's my opinion that you very much disagree with.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,284,911 times
Reputation: 420
it's the knowledge of good and evil which begats evil...thus a savior was needed
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 12:11 AM
 
37,477 posts, read 25,217,301 times
Reputation: 5852
Quote:
Originally Posted by mams1559 View Post
We just won't see eye to eye on this topic. Genesis is written in historic narrative prose. Because you have already accepted the misinformation that we evolved from molecules, Genesis therefore can be nothing more than a "spiritual story" instead of historic accounts which then forces the 'reinterpretation' of the entire bible.

Genesis is the foundation of the gospel. It's very difficult to see the need for Jesus and the gospel if Genesis does not mean what it clearly states.

But again, that's my opinion that you very much disagree with.
I understand completely . . . all the accumulated "wisdom of man" over the intervening 2000+ years must be discarded as foolishness to believe in your God and your explanation for Jesus. We can agree to disagree.

The underlying reality is the same, however . . . Jesus had to elevate His human consciousness into perfect resonance with God's consciousness (identical) by total control over His animal nature . . . no other human was able to do that. Jesus's death on the cross and His subsequent rebirth (resurrection) as Spirit (Holy Spirit) is what makes it possible for us to join God after our physical death and rebirth as Spirit under the grace and love of Jesus. There is no other way to God than through the consciousness and love of Jesus through the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,565,258 times
Reputation: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by mams1559 View Post
Someone who says that they believe in the Jesus of the bible is compromising their faith when they only believe certain parts can be true and not others.
AISI the above is the definition of a fundamentalist literalist.

A fundamentalist literalist believes in a perfect flawless collection of books and thinks that all sixty six books exactly represents God in plain English and thinks that they mostly understand God because of what they read in it.

And they believe that if we doubt any part of it is 100 % perfect then we might as well throw the whole thing out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-24-2009, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
4,883 posts, read 5,115,922 times
Reputation: 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeapostle View Post
The Myth of "Consistent Literalism"

The Myth of Consistent Literalism
Thank you for the post....the only one so far that really addresses what I wrote.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top