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Why are Christians allowed to pick and choose?

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
When it comes to the bible, plenty of things are interpreted and stated as holy law or divine intention such as a famous passage from Leviticus that Christians like to quote when combating homosexuality. So my question is this, for those that have read the bible all the way through or know more about its contents than what they hear on TV, you know that the bible says a lot of crazy things such as making American football immoral:

Leviticus 11:8 (which is discussing pigs, says) “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you”

Haircuts - Leviticus 19:27: “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.” Yep, no bowl cuts for you!

One of my favorites, pulling out - Genesis 38:9-10: “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also.”

That's right, pull out and die. So this slightly comical tone done and over with, what are your thoughts? Surely it can't be right to allow people to pick and choose what they believe out of the bible, right? Especially when many Christians tend to argue that the bible can't be out of date since it's holy writing and thus divine. I bring this up in light of things like gay marriage (as mentioned earlier) and other such instances where Christians pick their favorite verses and march into the streets. What do you think?

Also, if you're a woman, don't reply because the bible prohibits you from learning. Several times actually, mainly in church in terms of speaking but yeah, they still don't like you very much.

Corinthians 1434-1436: "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. "
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
The more you read them the more ridiculous those phrases sound.

And I must say that picking out lines doesn't happen only in Christianity. It happens with every religion. Albanian Muslim girls don't cover themselves in public, they smoke, drink alcohol and do everything that is prohibited from this religion.

So it all comes down to what's more convenient and easier for them to follow, even for Christians.
Take those people who claim to be Christians but their body is full of tattoos. It doesn't make sense. As far as I know Christianity doesn't allow tattoos. And I'm sure neither does Islam.

So I guess you either have to follow the rules 100% or don't say you belong to this or that religion.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Leviticus 11:8 (which is discussing pigs, says) “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you”
Peter has a vision in Acts 10 that changes that law.

Acts 10:9-16 said:
9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
A lot of those Old Testament laws, like the haircuts or circumcisions or whatever, served as kind of a barrier between Jews and Gentiles. That barrier was removed in the New Testament.

Ephesians 2:13-15 said:
13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.
But yeah, there is some other strange stuff that I can't really explain. I agree that there are a lot of Christians who pick and choose what they want to believe.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Yeah but the Old Testament and New Testament are different books and even within themselves, they contradict themselves.
 

Sim

Registered Member
Yeah but the Old Testament and New Testament are different books and even within themselves, they contradict themselves.
That's true. Yet those who pick particular lines from the OT to justify or condemn this or that are even additionally contradictory, because they introduce even another layer of contradiction where there doesn't necessarily have to be one.

As was said above, there are quite a few verses in the NT, by Paul and others, that suggest the OT law is generally no longer binding for Christians. That doesn't mean those Christians who condemn homosexuality are misreading their religion, because in the NT as well, homosexuality is condemned at least two times IIRC (by Paul). But they are certainly not making a strong case when they quote the OT to make their point.

One slippery slope I found in the NT is, though, its stance on love and forgiveness, the importance not to judge and that "the law in the heart is more important than any obedience to a law". It seems to contradict most of the nastier stances in the NT and may very well be expanded to excuse those who don't respect them. -- "Women pastors? Well, when they have God's law and true love in their hearts, that's more important than Paul's words." --"Homosexuality? It's sin, but we are told not to condemn lest we are condemned, and he who is without sin throw the first stone." Yadda yadda.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
See this has been my problem with the bible for a long time is how often it doubles back and how often it contradicts itself. There's a lot of great things going on in the bible and a lot of lessons on love, compassion, loyalty and respect but they get overshadowed by the more outlandish and ridiculous stories. The bible is after all a hodge podge of material from well over several dozen men over a span of many, many years. Naturally, you're going to see this sort of confusion arise.

So I guess I'd also ask, is it okay to cherry pick from the bible due to this very reasoning? If so, how are we supposed to know what rules to follow and what morals to pay attention to?
 

Sim

Registered Member
See this has been my problem with the bible for a long time is how often it doubles back and how often it contradicts itself. There's a lot of great things going on in the bible and a lot of lessons on love, compassion, loyalty and respect but they get overshadowed by the more outlandish and ridiculous stories. The bible is after all a hodge podge of material from well over several dozen men over a span of many, many years. Naturally, you're going to see this sort of confusion arise.

So I guess I'd also ask, is it okay to cherry pick from the bible due to this very reasoning? If so, how are we supposed to know what rules to follow and what morals to pay attention to?
Now I may not be an authority on that topic, since I am not a Christian believer yet but still just at the brink, and still struggling with these questions myself.

But maybe my musings on that topic are of interest for you or others: When I read the NT lately, I was actually surprised that on first glance, it didn't seem that contradictory as I expected. Yet many Christians seem to take different perspectives on it than I do, which may either be because I missed important things, or because they did -- or because I missed some things *and* it is more contradictory than I see:

First thing I noticed is that several times in the NT, Paul and others explicitly state that the OT law is no longer binding for Christians. No Mosaic law anymore, no Deuteronomium. That makes me think Christians shouldn't be looking there for answers regarding ethical behavior in the first place, and if they do, they apparently didn't read the NT. The OT may very well have been skipped from the Christian Bible. And maybe the only reason why it wasn't is because it helps us to understand Jesus' position much better, and to legitimize him -- but except for that, and a few nice musings on how to deal with God (i.e. Hiob's struggle), poetic praises and nice prayers in the Psalms, the OT has basically no further importance for Christians, at least in theory. It's only there to make us understand better who Jesus was.

So why do some Christians still focus on it so much? I have no idea. But my impression is, if they really follow their own religion, they shouldn't.

Once the OT is out of the way, there aren't really *that* many contradictions anymore: A few things are explicitly mentioned to be sins, certain behavior indirectly condemned, some things proposed or alluded to. Paul makes it pretty clear: If you want salvation and God to forgive your sins (and we are all sinners!), then embrace faith in God and Jesus Christ, his son. Sinning alone is not a big deal, as long as you repent, try to avoid sin and believe in Christ. Don't judge other sinners because you are one yourself, and because you want Christ and God to forgive you.

So the only real contradiction I see is this one: On one side, there is sin that should be avoided and condemned, and sinners should be amicably reprimanded, if that doesn't work berated, or then even expelled. On the other side, there is the demand not to judge lest you be judged, the reminder we are all sinners and only God shall judge, and to love everybody (which necessarily includes the sinner, since we all are).

How can these two stances be reconciled? I'm not sure. But my impression is that many differences between many Christians stem from the very different answers they give on that question.
 

konboye

Registered Member
See this has been my problem with the bible for a long time is how often it doubles back and how often it contradicts itself. There's a lot of great things going on in the bible and a lot of lessons on love, compassion, loyalty and respect but they get overshadowed by the more outlandish and ridiculous stories. The bible is after all a hodge podge of material from well over several dozen men over a span of many, many years. Naturally, you're going to see this sort of confusion arise.

So I guess I'd also ask, is it okay to cherry pick from the bible due to this very reasoning? If so, how are we supposed to know what rules to follow and what morals to pay attention to?
No, the Bible doesn't contradict itself. Most of what you thought are contradicting, are suppose to be taken as circumstantial if you know what I mean, for example Onan, God wanted to make a point there that his brother was his kin, so why would this guy want to deprive his own brother of an heir? That would be akin to killing his brother's living offspring. Now, Christ came to change a lot of things, Grace for example, it covers for every Christian in instances where their act could have been regarded as sinful, because God knew mankind was imperfect. So when you do something that's bad, his grace gives you a pass. I know it might not make sense, but the ways of the Lord is different from the ways of man. Christianity tries to simplify it, but you'd only gain understanding if you are a Christian.
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
Just going off the OP here. Many christians lose sight of the fact that some things in the bible are simply a description of things that were done. They aren't telling you what to do, just what was done. Just because they did it in the bible/the past, doesn't mean that's the instructions for now. It's just describing what happened. There are actual verses that are commands, but they are clearly worded as commands, not descriptions of what happened.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
. There are actual verses that are commands, but they are clearly worded as commands, not descriptions of what happened.
So all the lines that are written in the OP are commands and should be followed strictly?

Do you personally follow them?
 
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