The Holey Bible and the authority of a Christian.
Reason is the faculty by which man identifies and integrates the material provided by or ultimately provided by his senses. Its method is called logic, which is the art of non-contradictory identification. "Reason integrates man's perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions," wrote Ayn Rand in "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World"; she continued: "thus raising man's knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach.
The method which reason employs in this process is logic—and logic is the art of non-contradictory identification." She defined: "Reason is the perception of reality, and rests on a single axiom: the Law of Identity. - "Philosophy: Who Needs It" p.62. Reasoning is validated by observing that knowledge is derived from conceptions and that conceptions, in turn, are derived from perception. Actual measurable concrete observed existents related by valid logic lead to objective recognition of the facts of reality.
Mysticism, however, is the acceptance of allegations without evidence, against one's own reasoning, often despite the presence of evidence to the contrary. Its method is called faith, which is a short-circuit and abrogation of the mind. It is the numbing of one's own perception of existence and ultimately the rejection of one's own right to live. "Mysticism is the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as "instinct," "intuition," "revelation," or any form of "just knowing." Mysticism is the claim to the perception of some other reality—other than the one in which we live—whose definition is only that it is not natural, it is supernatural, and is to be perceived by some form of unnatural or supernatural means." – Ayn Rand, (ibid p.62)
Yet ask any serious Christian where he gets his authority from and he will direct you to the mythological and superstitious Bible. Science, reason, common sense and logic are not needed, required or valued when mysticism, faith and belief takes precedence. Even Jesus and the Apostle Paul mistakenly argued verbatim from the Bible for authorisation and confirmation in their famous discourses. Most Christians believe that the Bible is the very word of God and therefore they never doubt its veracity, especially if Jesus and Paul had no issues with it. It does not matter whether a given Bible story or instruction or teaching is historical or not, erroneous or not, contradictory or not, literal or not, scientific or not, ridiculous or not, factual or not, illogical or not as long as, it is in the Bible. The Christian and his Bible are inseparable. There is no compromise when it comes to the authority of the Bible. Circular reasoning means nothing, God wrote the Bible because the Bible says he did and that settles it.
A Christian who says he "knows" something because of a feeling he has that he calls the inner witness/moving of the spirit is simply not using the word "know" correctly. It's a belief, and a blind one at that. It's possible to believe something blindly. It's also possible to base a belief on pretty solid looking evidence (still without truly knowing). It's possible to mistakenly believe that you know something. However there is no doubt that Christians have been given a false assurance from the Bible, the religious spin doctoring and apologetic gymnastics that they mull over, which creates an illusion, a sense, a feel of having “revelation knowledge”.
It is this “feel good false knowledge” that is very addictive especially during “hard times” and it “allows” them to say with sincerity and an almost insane certainty that : they walk “in the light” and all others “walk in darkness, ” Jesus is the “light of the world” and Satan is the “prince of darkness”, we are only pilgrims passing through this life which God will judge what we did with Christ and decide wither we can go to heaven or hell……etc
And this dependency on a superstitious, prescience, primitive book results in them becoming misfits and outcasts from a rational world where they suffer ridicule, scoffing and derision. They become separated from the world and abhor its system of reality. They far rather dwell in fantasy land then fraternise with unbelievers. They yearn for the end of days when Jesus will rapture them to heaven and all their worldly mundane troubles will be over. They are even proud and unashamed to be considered the laughingstock of the rational world and take comfort from scripture that if people mocked Christ they will also mock his followers.
If Christians doubt the Bible they will doubt Jesus also. So they will defend the Bible tooth and nail against all onslaughts against it. The strongest weapon that Christians have is the Bible. It is their double edged sword that they use to slay the “wisdom of the world”. Christians will never doubt the Bible. If they do they will promptly apostatize as their faith unravels like a ball of string on their way to becoming free thinkers, agnostics or atheists. Heaven forbid. The Bible is all they have and is the only thing that prevents them from becoming normal members of society.
To them the Bible is the manual of life. Imagine if you were given a manual when you purchased a digital camera that you soon discovered to be both lacking in details on some important aspects of your camera, and also included some misleading information. How long would you defend the writers of the manual? If the manual claimed inerrancy, like the Bible does and there was a single error, you would be justified in rejecting it in its entirety.
Wither Christians believe it or not, acknowledge it or not, ignore it or not, the truth is that Christianity is founded on shaky ground and contrary to their position of faith it’s foundation is not mighty, sound and secure as bed rock - purely because the Bible is its foundation. And it is the “shaky ground” Bible that proclaims Jesus as the chief cornerstone and Jesus tell us that “the revelation knowledge of Jesus being the Son of God” is the rock Christianity, is to be built upon. The Bible has many devastating flaws and these problems (challenges) turn it into a holey bible reminiscent of a block of Swiss cheese and definitely not the Holy Bible as many blindly consider it to be.
There are issues with historicity, failed prophecies, absurdities, contradictions, creation account, flat earth, Noah’s Ark, the Gospels, sex in the Bible, the Ten Commandments, how the NT writers interpret the OT, especially regarding the concept of the messiah, how the concept of God culturally evolved from El the top God (CEO) in the council of Gods to only Yahweh his son, then to Jesus son of Yahweh (trinity), etc. These plagiarisms, inaccuracies, downright lies, legends and fantasy difficulties are not just pointed out by atheists, (Robert Wright, “Evolution of God” etc) agnostics, unbelievers, etc. but some are also pointed out by professing Christians, who are conservative Christian scholars. (P. Enns and K. Sparks)
If Christian scholars and atheists are saying the same thing it means that there are major problems with the Bible. These are problems that most Christians refuse to acknowledge hence the reason that Enns and Sparks wrote their works. (“Inspiration and Incarnation” and “God’s Word in Human Words”) The motivation was to inform evangelical Christians of the problems and to learn how to deal with them.
Dependency on religion and having a relationship with Christ has become more of an emotional dependency these days. People want to be told that there is a God who loves them no matter what, a God who has a place in heaven for them and has a plan for their lives; this allows them to be abnormally tolerant of the holey bible.
To be contd.