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The Bible – A Series of Passages (III) October 17, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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Leviticus chapter 11:1-11:47. I’m not sure what to think about this chapter. It seems to be dedicated to God’s advice on what we should and what we should not eat. The question that pops into my head is why? Why does God need to go to such great detail in this chapter? In 11:6-11:7, we are told we cannot eat rabbits or pigs becuse they are unclean to us. And what can we eat from the water? Apparently, only those creatures that have fins and scales (11:12). Seriously? Of course, I don’t eat seafood because I’ve never liked the taste, so perhaps I’ve got an edge from a dietary perspective!

And what of the flying creatures, or as The Bible calls them, fowl? Quite a few types of birds are listed, most of which are not on my diet, however, 11:20 seems to be saying that all fowl that “creep, going upon all four” are not to be eaten. But then we are told what to avoid in the insect world? I don’t know what to think about this chapter. I fail to see why this needs to be in The Bible at all. Obviously, many people in the United States for example, are most definitely eating rabbits and pigs. I wonder what will happen to them?

The chapter continues on describing how carcasses are unclean, and how we need to wash our clothes, and every thing that the carcass touches. Sounds like good advice to me! But then we hit 11:41 – “And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.” Now what exactly is a creeping thing? Maybe we need some interpretation here, I’m not sure. Are we talking about bugs, or lizards, or maybe snakes? I really want to know what a “creeping thing” is. Apparently, God does not want us to eat “creeping things.”

In the end, we are left wondering what value the chapter brings to modern man. Or is this one of those chapters that only apply to the people of that time period? If so, where is the chapter for modern humans and what they should or should not eat? It’s all so confusing, yet surprisingly normal sounding for the knowledge that existed so many thousands of years ago. Personally, I’m not inclined to think that such a powerful god needs to relate such detailed dietary restrictions to His perfect creation, man. It’s another clear sign to me that humans wrote this stuff, and attributed it to a mythical God character in order to give it some authority. If God loved us so much, why put things on the earth that we should not eat, or that are unclean in the first place? Another mystery, indeed.

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1. sg - October 17, 2009

Great questions, the general message here is that you should not worship food as your God. Many people did so in the past, even worse many of the foods mentioned were never intended for our bodies but were intended for other things.

In the new testament, from Jesus, we know that we can eat anything but some foods are bad for our bodies and is good to avoid them altogether. If you are invited to someone’s house and they offer you pork, go ahead and partake. Just don’t eat pork for the rest of the week since pork basically has to rot in your stomach for 8 hours before it digests! But i will say this, i still eat menudo atleast once a month. many of the seafood is also extremely harmful but i just can’t seem to stay away.

Remember, Jesus wants us to take care of our bodies so that the top two priorities keep getting met, worship your lord as your Savior and love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

These passages are there as guides even before we had doctors, nutritionists, weight plans and many other things.

Please keep in mind that your salvation is never in question over what you eat, this would be silly. Salvation is a gift that we do not deserve and it is given to us thru Jesus from God. You don’t have to believe and you can keep on believing that all this is make believe. But my question to you is why do you questioned what you will never understand, God’s reasons for doing things the God way?

Wouldn’t it be more productive for you to research why you are still searching? Seems that you are not comfortable with your belief. Maybe you are lacking in your faith since you have no higher power to draw from. Maybe you are in a state of no peace, a state of uneasiness, no real direction in life. Maybe you are carrying to much on your shoulders were these burdens were never for you to carry.

jetson - October 17, 2009

Is there some corroborating passage in the NT to back up your claim that Jesus wants us to take care of our bodies through the chapter in Leviticus? Or is this just an interpretation of Leviticus?

It seems clear to me that these are a form of rule or commandment regarding our diets, and they are very specific, but also don’t seem to match up with what we know about animals. For example, why the reference to four-legged fowl? Why the reference to four-legged insects? There are no four-legged bugs, much less insects, which are defined as six-legged creatures in modern knowledge.

It seems to me that many believers take this seriously enough to consider it a sin to eat pork, for example. As we can see, very plainly, pork does not have a notably negative effect on our health over any other meat product, as far as I know.

Now, to your concerns about me, my journey, my salvation, and my reasons for asking: I now have a solid grounding in reality to stand on that does not require any form of higher power, god, religion, or belief system that does not match with my own personal feelings and life. While I would NEVER expect anyone to be impressed by what I have concluded or discovered fro myself, I will be much more successful in being who I am because I have stopped pretending that something is important, when it is not.

I have no need for salvation, because I know I will die, and my death will feel exactly the same as before I was born. I am not lacking in supernatural or religious faith because there is nothing to place faith in. I have plenty of faith in the human race, even though there are examples of horrible treatment among humans towards each other over history. We have gradually removed so much of the hate, bigotry, and abuse of knowledge, that I remain hopeful that humans can do better. Much better in fact.

I trust that science will eventually give us a better understanding of our origins, but I also know that the knowledge gained in certain areas may or may not benefit mankind. I know that for me, knowing how the universe began, or how life began is not going to fundamentally change my life much at all.

If there is a god, a real god, one that truly loves the humans it created, I ask again – where is it? If the god of The Bible is everything Christians claim, I’m not impressed.

2. Brian Culliton - October 17, 2009

I hesitate to tell you this because I don’t think you will understand, but those dietary laws were a bondage to the people of God. They contrast the liberty we enjoy in Christ who fulfilled those laws. The Law of Moses was necessary so that Christ could be born under it and be judged by it.

jetson - October 17, 2009

Brian – don’t hesitate! I am interested. What you propose as an explanation is interesting, but I have to ask how you know this? How did you come to this conclusion, and how do you know that it is correct?

And more importantly, are you suggesting that because Jesus fulfilled the laws of the OT, that we are now free of those laws? What do you think of Christians who still follow the laws of the OT, or at least reference them in certain situations?

Brian Culliton - October 17, 2009

We are free of the Law, but the Law did not disappear. The Law is fulfilled in these two things: love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. So the prerequisite here is faith in God. It was no different for the Old Testament church, i.e. Israel, because even though they were under the Law, it was God’s grace and love that saved them. No one other than Christ kept the Law completely, so the Law could do nothing but condemn. God knew that would be the case. So if God could come to earth as a man and do what no man could ever do before, He would tangibly display God’s righteousness and conquer sin and death, which is why the Law came in the first place. And if He did that, the Law could not have power over anyone who accepts God’s grace and follows Him. And I will admit that the believing part is easy and the following part is not.

What I think of Christians, who attempt to keep the Law of Moses to any degree, is that they lack understanding. There always seems to be a high level of control in groups that do that. My response to them is the same as Paul’s response to the Galatians when they were persuaded to follow the Law. You can read that for yourself; and if you have specific questions, I will try to answer them.

How do I know these things are correct? I believe I am correct and I have many years of Scriptural and historical study to back my conclusions. But ultimately whether you believe I am right or wrong depends on you; it really makes no difference to me.

3. sg - October 17, 2009

By the way on the pork, i was wrong, it takes 24 hours to rot in your stomach and yes pork is not the best for you to eat. Can it be eaten absolutely, would you want to live on a diet that only consists only of pork? I don’t think so….but you can go right ahead and no one on the Christian faith will think that you are an outcast for doing so. Some people have chosen to not eat meat at all, which i think is great. I don’t think i can do this but eating nutritionally sound food is a great way to live. Look at everything that is natural, the more you are inclined to not eat what God says the better off you are. Take for example catfish (which i love to eat) this is a bottom dweller that cleans the river beds. All these toxins make it into the fish and hence are bad for humans to eat, the same goes with shrimp. But quite the opposite with Salmon, this fish is not a bottom dweller and this food is good for us. Farm raised Salmon are not ideal since these are raised by man, the best type is wild Salmon, like coho.

What Brian says is correct. What laws of the OT are you referring to?

Let me ask you, if you have a headache and i ask you to prove it what would you tell me? What if you had ALS and your brain was telling your body to do things and you said you couldn’t or that you felt pain. How would you prove to me these things, i could say to you I DON’T believe you.

How can you have faith in humanity, that your family will help you? these are imperfect humans and yet you have trust in them. Show me how you have trust, I could tell you that i don’t believe you, i don’t know them.

I tell you now, I feel God’s love! I know him, he is always with me.

If you want to know him you have to trust him, just like how you put faith in your family.

jetson - October 17, 2009

I think it is fascinating, and telling that you are able to shrug off the dietary rules laid out in Leviticus by God. It amazes me that you can decide, through some awesome knowledge of The Bible, I guess, that when God say’s eating the swine is an abomination, he really meant, “unless you feel like it – by all means, eat whatever – I’m just saying, don’t eat the swine because it is unclean.”

I believe what Brian is suggesting is that Jesus arrived to fulfill the laws of the OT, laws that were “a bondage to the people of God.” Which suggests that today, those dietary rules and laws are no longer valid – I’m guessing at what Brian meant here. Is this true according to your version of Christianity? If so, what is the purpose of the OT – or at least the parts of it that Jesus fulfilled for God’s people that they can now safely ignore?

If the OT laws are somehow null and void, thanks to Jesus, then you have every right to ignore the rules of diet in Leviticus – I guess? However, I can show you plenty of Christians who would shudder at the very thought of going against the rules and laws of the God of the OT – regardless of Jesus’ purpose. I suppose those people have it all completely wrong? It sure would be nice if there were one version of Christianity that all Christians could get behind!

How can I have faith in my family? It’s easy, I love them and I trust them to be there for me, and I for them. If you think faith is only available to Christians, fine, but it doesn’t change anything I said. How can I trust a god who does not exist? I would much rather put my trust and faith in a real human, who may be imperfect, but who will help me in my time of need. Not to mention the fact that I have seen no evidence that the Christian god is anywhere close to perfect. If He were perfect, He would have no need to create imperfect humans into an imperfect world, just so that He can expect them to worship Him. Perfection is an ultimate state that requires nothing – so why would such a god require anything – especially the burning flesh of animals?

4. sg - October 17, 2009

I didn’t say faith was only available to Christians, were do you get this? Should i write in Spanish?

Remember God does not exist in your mind, this is why it is a leap of faith for you, if you trust in Jesus you will find Him.

jetson - October 18, 2009

How can you have faith in humanity, that your family will help you? these are imperfect humans and yet you have trust in them. Show me how you have trust, I could tell you that i don’t believe you, i don’t know them.

This is what you said. I explained how easy it is to have faith in humans, especially my own family. Are there any humans you have faith and trust in? I took your comment to mean that one can only have faith and trust in God, since humans are imperfect and apparently cannot be trusted.

5. sg - October 18, 2009

i see you like to twist and misinterpret what i say to appease your argument.

when are you going to realize that i am not against you.

jetson - October 18, 2009

So, tell me what you meant by “how can you have faith in humanity”? I have never considered you being “against me.”

6. sg - October 18, 2009

Exactly my point, you have faith, you are just not willing or maybe able to have faith in God. I see your biggest obstacle as your pride of life, the very same one that i struggled with when i couldn’t and won’t accept him.

so it actually boils down to a human characteristic, pride, that separates you from God, for you.

I tell you, lay down your pride, and reap the never ending rewards. You think that you are free now, just wait until you have been filled with the holy spirit. It is like no other feeling. These are my personal accounts from atheist to Christianity.

jetson - October 18, 2009

Pride has nothing to do with it. I am both unwilling and unable to place my faith in a mythical god character. It is not going to make me feel better at all, it will make me feel worse. Worse because I know that I would be pretending. I know that I will be acting like God matters to me.

I will stick to my current faith in humanity. I can walk outside and see humans everywhere. I can see them doing amazing things to help each other every day. I can see them smile at each other, love each other, and go out of their way to contribute in whatever small way they can to a better world. I have never seen, heard, or felt any god do these things.

Nothing separates me from an imaginary god except my own willingness to pretend that God is actually real. If I stop thinking, and accept Jesus, then I have lost everything. I have given up. I have literally become another believer in the unknowable. I simply cannot suspend my disbelief for an invisible god whose very nature is to ignore the plight of millions upon millions of humans, while granting the success and eternal bliss of a few.

7. sg - October 21, 2009

Pride has everything to do with it, you enter into eternal salvation thru faith.

If you enter under a pretend phase then of course you will feel and be miserable. If you are acting then you have not entered by faith at all.

I say stick with your current faith in humanity and only accept Jesus when you are fully committed to accepting by faith that Jesus is Lord of Lords. That Jesus is God and died for all sins, past, present and future, that he paid the price for everlasting life.

I tell you this is not how it is, what you describe as far as losing everything, it is quite the opposite.

When you say you can’t, you should really say you won’t. It is your will that you have control over. It is also under your complete and total control to either believe or not believe is the question.

jetson - October 21, 2009

Please, try as hard as you can to believe in Zeus, then tell me how this is any different? What – is your pride getting in the way of belief in Zeus? Maybe you can pretend to believe in Zeus, or, believe in whatever you want and only accept Zeus when you are fully committed to accepting him.

When you say you cannot believe in Zeus, you should just say you won’t, because after all, Zeus isn’t real, and who wants to believe in something that is not real?

We’re not that much different. I bet we both dropped Santa at about the same age too – funny!

8. sg - October 23, 2009

Nope my pride of life does not get in the way of accepting God. I have humbled myself to one I call God, he goes by several names, but i tried Zeus and he did not respond, when i tried the below he did respond:

Elohim
Adonai
Abba Father
Father
Lord of Lords
King of Kings
Yahweh
Jehovah
Christ


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