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Cherry picking should be an Olympic sport

24 January 2013, 16:00

As you know, the battles between theists and atheists on this forum have been going on ad nausea for a very long time. The question always posed by theists is; why do atheists feel the need to ‘attack’ religion? For me, as I can’t speak for others, it is purely to open the eyes of the misled and to free those enslaved by it. (I brace myself for the barrage of thumbs downs)

So I decided to brave it and write another article. Cherry picking is a phrase used often when describing the religious (in fact I am surprised that it is still allowed in these forums)

My favourite topic, where cherry picking features, is the one of the Old Testaments validity in the modern Christians world. This is probably the one topic where Christians seem to differ in their opinions the most.

 If you are having a discussion with a Christian and you ask them if they eat pork, their favourite response is that the Old Testament no longer applies and that when Jesus died it was no longer valid. And the following verses say the very same thing:

Hebrews 8:7-13 quotes Jeremiah 31:31-34, which says that the Old Testament was a covenant or agreement made at Mt. Sinai between God and Israel. But God predicted the coming of a new covenant unlike that old one. That new covenant is the New Testament. Now that it has come, the Old Testament has vanished away.

Hebrews 10:9,10 - Jesus came to take away the first will or covenant and establish the second.

Colossians 2:14 - The Old Testament ordinances were taken away when Christ was nailed to the cross. [cf. v16,17]

So, based on the above they are correct. However if they believe this, how is it that they are still happy to tithe when there are no verses that mention tithing (by this I mean giving a percentage) in the New Testament. Funny how their churches omit to tell them this!

Then we go to the other side (a minority in comparison) where the other team says that the Old Testament does apply. The following verses validate this theory:

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished.  Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)  Clearly the Old Testament is to be abided by until the end of human existence itself.  None other then Jesus said so.

  All of the vicious Old Testament laws will be binding forever.  “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.”  (Luke 16:17 NAB)

 Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets.  He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.  I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.”  (Matthew 5:17 NAB)

 “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness...”  (2 Timothy 3:16 NAB)

 “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.” (2 Peter 20-21 NAB)

So now whose confused? This, I believe, is proof of the inconsistencies that the bible poses. This is why there is so much confusion and so many denominations. For every verse there is another contradicting the very same thing. I suppose based on this, cherry picking is the only option.

This is why I say in my first paragraph; that atheists are not attacking the religious but merely trying to point out the pointlessness of trying to follow a ‘law book’ written by many, at differing times, with differing opinions.

To those of you who are determined to stick it out: I wish you good luck!

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