Archive for May, 2011
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why does God require praise?” If one does a comparative study between the work of a human and the work of God, the outcome is very interesting. Take for instance a woman carrying a child: all through her pregnancy term she does everything she knows to ensure her child is born healthy, after birth and for the entire time she raises the child she sacrifices and commits her life to giving her child the best education and living environment possible. Her child may or may not praise, and thank her for what she has done, but that is not the reason for her commitment to his care.
Now let’s take a look at the God portrayed in the Bible: he is said to be the creator of all and he requires continual thanksgiving, and praise from his creation for his creative works, though he does not always do everything possible (considering his omnipotence) to ensure the well being of his children. He allows them to commit fatal errors through ignorance, die of diseases and hunger, gives unfair laws which allows the abuse of the female half of creation to name just a few, yet over, and over again in the pages of Scripture we see God angrily lashing out at his people for their lack of praise. What’s up with that? It seems we humans are better parents than God.
Most Christians have been taught that the Bible is the word of God and is a guide book for believers on issues of morality, and ways to train up our children in righteousness. God is portrayed as our heavenly father, whom earthly men should pattern themselves after. So, let me ask this simple question using the Bible as my guide book: Is this an example of a loving father….?
Deut. 22:28-29 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold (seize) of her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
I should hope that no sane person would say yes. Just imagine, a young girl is seized and raped by a man, all the man is required to do under God’s law is to pay the girls father 50 pieces of silver, then the man is obliged marry the girl he just raped and never divorce her! All I can say is fortunately our “loving” heavenly father doesn’t make the laws in our modern society. It’s time to wake up, take off the blinders and see what the Bible is really saying.
Here are a couple more biblical examples showing how a father would rather give his daughters to be raped in order to protect the honor of his male guests. The truly sad thing is that there is not one scintilla of rebuke for the actions of the father….they are in fact condoned!
Gen. 19:5-8 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
Judges 19:23-25 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
If these verses aren’t enough to make your blood boil, I think you better read them again. This is the Bible that children in Sunday school and their parents in Church are being taught is the word of their loving heavenly father.
The thought recently occurred to me how different the Bible would be if it had been written by women instead of men. Life through the eyes of a male is very different then that of a female; for one thing the nature of a male is much more aggressive and focused on strength and control – quite different from that of the female.
It is quite apparent – biblically speaking – when one examines the overall nature of Scripture, you can see that much of the content and themes are focused on fighting, control, power struggles, women used for reproduction instead of partners, and God presented in a very masculine way. Imagine for a moment, what the nature of the Bible would be if it were given from the female perspective, which is just another of the many reasons to stop and take a second look at the idea of the Bible being the word of God. Do people really think that the cosmic mind behind all that we see is going to present his existence to us in such an unbalanced and lopsided way, only giving one side of the whole picture?
Life must be in balance in order for there to be unity, and harmony. There is a place for the aggression and physical strength of the male, but it must be equally balanced with the feminine qualities to give us life at its best, working together to create one body. Because the Bible is written by men from a male perspective, the focus tends to be on the masculine, leaving a gapping void on the feminine side.
The human experience is not just male, even though most of history is presented totally from the male perspective – half of life is female. My greatest desire is for people to be able to learn from the mistakes of the past and understand that for almost the entire span of written human history, half of the picture has been missing, so it is time now to begin to fill the void and let go of the misconceptions that have come about because of ignorance. Instead of hanging onto the errors of the past let us journey on ahead opening our minds to truth….life is balanced – male and female.
A common theme that runs through most of the worlds’ major religions devised by men is the MISTREATMENT, and INEQUALITY of women. What one finds is endless squabbling between man and god about things like how many wives a man can have, if he can divorce his wife, who’s property a woman is, and what rights does she have concerning inheritance, is a woman impure longer after she has a female baby than after she has a male baby, if a man claims a woman is not a virgin what punishments are inflicted upon her, or if he accuses her of adultery because he is jealous what must she suffer? Sometimes a man can have a pagan wife (Ruth was a Moabite), other times he cannot, sometimes it’s okay to keep the pagan virgin women for themselves, other times they must kill them all. Should women cover only their heads, or their entire faces, can a woman speak in church, or must she be silent, will a woman be saved by childbirth, or not, must a woman submit to a man as her head, or not? Bottom line: does a woman have any rights aside from those given her by a man? The list could go on and on, but I think my point has been made….it looks man made.
The one thing above all else that tells me the Bible is entirely of human construction is its viewpoint on women. No creator of the magnitude and intelligence it would take to form the heaven and earth with all of its fine tuning would stoop to such pettiness, and perversion, as to create a species called the human animal, that must obey a set of such blatantly skewed laws and rules (that no one can, or should keep), as those portrayed in the Bible.
We have written history as an example of how men have felt about women down through the ages….the Bible just exemplifies those feelings, and attributes it to a god. Men have always used their physical strength and power to promote their superiority and suppress those who are weaker, but those who adhere to the Bible justify it by declaring god made the laws! The same holds true for many of the other major religions of the world.
In many places in the Old Testament women are considered the property of the man, and are little more than sex slaves at the beck and call of their male masters, all of this is condoned by the god of man’s making. This is by no means exclusive to the Bible, ancient and modern cultures alike are riddled with such examples, but the sad thing being is that in the majority of the cases the reason for the inequality is attributed to a teaching of that particular religion’s god or gods.
The huge gaping wound created by the Old Testament’s promotion of the abuse of women, has only become a festering, pus infected sore, with the advent of the New Testament, and continues to ooze its infection into modern times. It has become crystal clear to me that what caused the Bible to become a dead book, has now come full circle and caused its stinking corpse to be buried.
As my vision becomes clearer, and clearer, I see there is absolutely no way a book such as the Bible that shares a common theme of abuse, and inequality of women with most of the worlds major religions, can ever again hold any credence as being the word of god….for me it’s dead, and buried – RIP – that is not to say that the Bible in and of itself is not a wonderful treasure of ancient literature that reflects the human experience of God.