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The Bible and Christian Dogmatism


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Steve Hydonus
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« Reply #15 on: Jul 14, 2014 12:35 am »

Who knows how much it has been changed around to fit someones ideas, how much has been deleted and how much is just someones ferry tale. I remember Brother Turyananda saying to me that taking reincarnation out of the Bible was the worst single sin of all. Because it gave more credence to burning forever or going to a heaven after this life. One or the other for eternity. In some ways the Bible is diabolical. Especially because of the guilt that those who read it feel when they feel they have no 2nd chance.

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« Reply #16 on: Jul 14, 2014 05:30 pm »

Do the SRF teachings ask you to become a biblical critic? Yogananda himself considered the bible to be holy scripture. You are such a "textbook liberal" that it would be laughable if it weren't so boring. Your biblical analysis is half-witted at best and nothing but the same old dull ranting we have all heard before and can hear any day of the week. Why don't you go meditate instead of rattling off this drivel? Your ranting has the smell of the truck stop.

If we look deeply into why people get critical we find somewhere a deep hurt. A deep confusion. A reaction to the world or to someone-whatever the target may be. It is like a wound inside that is festering and we can't get to its source. It is a deep dissatisfaction with ouselves and with life. But eventually there is no place to run, no place to go. Anywhere we go the challenges resurface. Often we find those around us are just as critical because it becomes a reflection of our reality.

I don't have the answers just observing the symtoms and trying to make sense of them as you are. Sometimes it can build up into anger and then we let it out on those around us. Even those we deeply care about. Then we have to face ourselves because we eventually recognize that not all of the problems come from outside of us. No; our reality is self created. But if we were to recognize it - all of it - could we really handle it? So we just work on what we can - what we see in our immediate environment - even though it is often painful. Slow by slow. We are all in this predicament together. We are all looking for a way out. That is why we are here. This deep dissatisfaction with those around us really is just a deeper dissatisfaction with ourselves. With our life. With this world. Yet that is why we are here on this forum. That is why we met. We have come face to face with ourselves.

Jitendra
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« Reply #17 on: Jul 14, 2014 07:52 pm »

If we look deeply into why people get critical we find somewhere a deep hurt. A deep confusion. A reaction to the world or to someone-whatever the target may be. It is like a wound inside that is festering and we can't get to its source. It is a deep dissatisfaction with ouselves and with life. But eventually there is no place to run, no place to go. Anywhere we go the challenges resurface. Often we find those around us are just as critical because it becomes a reflection of our reality.

Jitendra

So this explains your criticism of Christians and the Bible and my criticism of you, all in one shot?
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« Reply #18 on: Jul 14, 2014 10:42 pm »

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Swami Peevananda
So this explains your criticism of Christians and the Bible and my criticism of you, all in one shot?

I criticised Christians? I apologize if that is the true. I am a Christian myself. So i would also be leveling the criticism at myself if that is the case.

The Bible is not perfect though it has much to offer that is my overview on this thread. If i have offended you (or anyone else) by being overly critical of the Bible I apologise : It seems important to me to separate fact from fiction and to recognize that the Bible was written by human beings and decisions about its contents were subject to human error. I have tried to figure out what to accept and what not to for most of my life. In some ways I have come to terms with this. This thread just helped me and hopefully some others as well.

Your criticism of me? Do you feel you have?

I think the whole thread has helped with understanding my upbringing and indoctrination into Christianity. I read what you had to say about this thread it appears the thread serves no useful purpose for you. Not everything that is said here on the forum is for everyone. There are many  topics to choose from.

Steve
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« Reply #19 on: Jul 16, 2014 12:39 am »

Brock

No. You may be right. I may be a very poor critic of the Bible. I just have tried to understand what was meant for me in it. Mostly the words of Jesus strike a strong chord in me. Much of the rest of it is questionable to me. I do think it is a shame that the life of Jesus from his age about 14 to 30 was just left out. Also, what he might have given to his disciples in the way of meditation exercises and spiritual practices aside from what he taught and gave to the masses. It is also a shame that many books written for the Bible never saw the light of day till recently.

I have more to say about this subject and our relationship to the times of Christ and the Bible. i will save it for another time. I am slowly finding my relationship to this great work and the people I meet who were influenced by it including yourself.
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« Reply #20 on: Jul 16, 2014 06:15 am »

Hi Steve. I would like to come back and, after reading this once more in depth (i) would like to debate as I think you raise good questions. .. many of which I have not sat down and faced or even bothered to fathom. One point I'd like to make before coming back to this thread is in regard to your mentioning slavery quoted the bible... I think the time this was written should be taken into consideration because not only were slaves taught how to behave around their Masters but the Bible also taught Masters how to "properly" treat their slaves. Also... Was Jesus Jewish? There's a lot of tradition and just,  different ways of living that should be taken into consideration when translating the Bible as it was written from a completely different era then what we're accustomed to today.
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« Reply #21 on: Jul 16, 2014 10:52 am »

Hi Steve. I would like to come back and, after reading this once more in depth (i) would like to debate as I think you raise good questions. .. many of which I have not sat down and faced or even bothered to fathom. One point I'd like to make before coming back to this thread is in regard to your mentioning slavery quoted the bible... I think the time this was written should be taken into consideration because not only were slaves taught how to behave around their Masters but the Bible also taught Masters how to "properly" treat their slaves. Also... Was Jesus Jewish? There's a lot of tradition and just,  different ways of living that should be taken into consideration when translating the Bible as it was written from a completely different era then what we're accustomed to today.

This is precisely why i do not see how the Bible can be used as a guide to social living anymore. Although perhaps one could use it fot personal living if one chooses. Otherwise It could be the cause of war and social repression. Which no doubt it has. As for instance civilizations using it to justify slavery and how women should behave, or how to treat animals and whether one should eat them.

The Bible may have been applicable to a different time and may not have. Yet much of of it is  not applicable to today. Who is to decide what to apply to today and what not to? Ah there is the rub. Yet there are groups today that have not only made their decision as what to use in the Bible for social change but try to enforce it on others as well on the grounds that the Bible is infallible.

Jitendra
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« Reply #22 on: Jul 16, 2014 09:18 pm »

The problem comes when people want to decide things "en masse". This never works. Individuals have to decide what is applicable to themselves and what isn't (they do anyway).
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« Reply #23 on: Jul 16, 2014 09:26 pm »

The problem comes when people want to decide things "en masse". This never works. Individuals have to decide what is applicable to themselves and what isn't (they do anyway).

agree totally...
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« Reply #24 on: Jul 16, 2014 09:51 pm »

At a certain point I just gave up having a "stance" on things. Everybody always wants to know, "What's your stance on xyz?" As if I need to have a stance on everything going on in the world and in other people's lives. These days I just prefer to stand in the middle, or stand nowhere, especially when it comes to other peoples lives and decisions (unless it's a friend or someone who wants me to give an opinion based on what I would do). When things are not in your circle of immediate influence, your "stances" on them only take you away from, well, your own circle of influence; life; the present; reality. That's a sure way to get lost in thinking. Many people working at Starbucks believe that they are political analysts or foreign policy experts. In reality most of them are only being asked to make Frappuccino's.

The ancient Indian caste system was very different from modern democracy. They found it much better for a persons spiritual life to do their dharma and not try to be experts on everything under the sun. This is why you would go to a Guru, because you didn't know everything. Now everybody knows everything and has all their opinions, so there is no room for a Guru. The cup is already full.

Anandamayi Ma was asked about anger. She said, "I don't know how things should be. So how can I be angry? I can only be angry if I know how things should be." [paraphrased]

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« Reply #25 on: Jul 19, 2014 11:16 pm »

At a certain point I just gave up having a "stance" on things. Everybody always wants to know, "What's your stance on xyz?" As if I need to have a stance on everything going on in the world and in other people's lives. These days I just prefer to stand in the middle, or stand nowhere, especially when it comes to other peoples lives and decisions (unless it's a friend or someone who wants me to give an opinion based on what I would do). When things are not in your circle of immediate influence, your "stances" on them only take you away from, well, your own circle of influence; life; the present; reality. That's a sure way to get lost in thinking. Many people working at Starbucks believe that they are political analysts or foreign policy experts. In reality most of them are only being asked to make Frappuccino's.

The ancient Indian caste system was very different from modern democracy. They found it much better for a persons spiritual life to do their dharma and not try to be experts on everything under the sun. This is why you would go to a Guru, because you didn't know everything. Now everybody knows everything and has all their opinions, so there is no room for a Guru. The cup is already full.

Anandamayi Ma was asked about anger. She said, "I don't know how things should be. So how can I be angry? I can only be angry if I know how things should be." [paraphrased]

I found your post interesting especially what Anandamayi Ma had to say about anger. It made me smile. I also like your views on 'stance'. For me the issue has an added dimension beyond stance. Stance is only a product of what originally played out in the past. Or there need not be even a stance taken but rather a keen interest generated. Enough to warrant a strong response. I ask myself this: What is my connection to the period of Christ and Christianity? It seems to be a karmic situation which I am witnessing many times in my life. Sometimes it takes time to understand our connection to past periods in history but we remain receptive, watch our own reactions and those around us. We often find a connection through past events by our encounters with those that now arise in our lives or those who have come in our lives at various times.

Occasionally an epiphany may come to us; a vision or a revelation from someone around us and our relatedness to such things becomes apparent. We may see a reaction in ourselves or others. It is somethings that one has learned which are planted by higher forces so we have the opportunity to work them out. We find some of the same conditions flowing over into this life because we have lessons that may not be completed from these past life scenarios. We may be wrapping up the lessons or still have much to learn but these episodes are brought to out attention to help us in our spiritual unfoldment. At times we are even awakened to the fact that we had a noble role we played in the past and at other times we were rogues or quite immature spiritually speaking.


Jitendra
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 21, 2014 02:29 pm »

There is nothing 'wrong' with what is left of the Bible but rather it's use by fundamentalists to promote a certain religious/political agenda that is perpetrated by power hungry and lost souled people who wish to create something that for instance Jesus never had in mind. Their use of the Bible is to keep people in religious intolerance thus promoting warfare between various cultural/religious energy centers and maintaining power of the masses. This contributes to keeping in bondage the more progressive spiritual philosophies and experiences that are coming out of for instance spiritual portal.
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 21, 2014 05:49 pm »

And call this a holy book? What kind of God is this that has a God killing children and women. Today we would call it: crimes against humanity. War criminals. Mass genocide.

And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.  At God’s instructions, the Israelites “utterly destroyed the men, women, and the little ones” leaving “none to remain.”  And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. (Deuteronomy 2:33-36)



When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you. Only in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:10-17

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« Reply #28 on: Aug 21, 2014 07:55 pm »

Joshua said to the people of Israel, “The Lord has given you the city of the all silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: They shall come into the treasury of the Lord.  The people utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua 6:21-23

More crimes against humanity and mass genocide promoted by the Bible:


"I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."(Luke 19:26-27)

The Bible promoted genocide, war crimes against humanity and had a God that tells his people to destroy everything.... children and women included. This is not a Holy Bible. It is a crime against humanity!





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« Reply #29 on: Sep 08, 2014 11:04 pm »

Steve,  I agree that, from those passages, in comparison Gengis Khan sounds like a meek and pious conqueror, I remember the passage where Elijah was praised for having slaughtered a few hundred people. Yet Elijah was a great prophet, almost liberated, like Yogananda writes.

I believe there are a few aspects about that.

1) As you were musing, those scriptures are a fruit of the deep kali yuga
2) many passages are metaphorical and a deep knowledge of the social and historical context would be needed to grasp the hidden meaning
3) some passages have an esoterical meaning which just escapes most readers and surely escapes the Christian pastors. For example, St. Peter killed one couple of Christians because they lied about their possessions (they didn't want to share them as it was custom among the first Christian communities). Now, Jesus' foremost disciple Killing people for having told lies? That would just be preposterous. A grotesquerie of an holy scripture.Instead, we know from Yogananda that St. Peter was but a channel , an unconscious catalyst for Karma to work, those disciples were automatically punished for many previous bad actions, not just lies to St. Peter.

There are some Christian philosophers who are well aware of these contradictions and many times are able to elucidate the facts in a rational way.

Dawkins the strong atheist, who has criticized those weird passages of the bible, has been on his turn criticized for not knowing what he was speakng about. That is, Christian theologists have a rational explanation for most, or all the weird passages. Some of'em are  satisfactory, I don't know'em all.

And I concur that it would take a criminally insane mind to take those passages literally
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