April 18, 2011

Reasons I Believe — Part 1: Diversity and Faults

Yes, Lela, I know you like it when I blast some cafone with the thunder and lightning, but I'm putting that on hold for a while. I want to talk to the people without scaring them, capice? Alrightey then.

Buon giorno. Go ahead, sit down. I want to talk to you. Just hear me out, OK? I want to tell you some of the reasons that I believe that the Bible is true and, ultimately, that Jesus is who he said he is.

There have been many times I have come across people who make the charge that the Bible was cranked out by people who wanted to start a religion. (Sometimes, they make the ridiculous claim that it was done to control people, but I won't dignify that with any discussion.) Well, that's kind of difficult. You see, the Bible is based on the word biblos. It is not really a book, but a collection of sixty six books. These were written over a span of centuries by people from diverse cultures and in various walks of life: Fishermen, shepherds, kings, a tax collector, a physician — the prophet Amos was a part-time fig picker. You get the idea, all sorts of people who spoke different languages. That right there shows how absurd it is when ignorant people simply say that it was to create a religion — too many professions, too many languages, too much time, too many cultures.

Get ten of your friends and have them answer questions about difficult, controversial subjects. There is not much chance that they will all agree on the stuff. Yet, the Bible writers, with all of their cultures and professions, were in agreement.

Here's a point that keeps popping up in my Bible reading: The "ring of truth". Be honest with me: Do you really think that if someone was going to create stories out of thin air (or use them to illustrate greater truths), they would put all the flaws of the people in there?
  • Israel saw the power of God in their escape from Egypt, and started worshiping the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain talking to God and getting the Ten Commandments
  • Elijah saw God's power (1 Kings 18) and Baal's priests were destroyed. But his life was threatened, so he ran and hid, feeling sorry for himself.
  • Jonah did not want to be God's prophet to Nineveh, he hated them. After the incident with the whale, he preached and they repented — much to Jonah's dismay (Jonah 4)!
  • The disciples of Jesus argued among themselves as to who was the greatest (Mark 9.34)
  • One of Jesus' disciples betrayed him.
  • One of Jesus' disciples denied him.
  • The apostle Paul was a persecutor of the church, and was essentially dragged into the Kingdom kicking and screaming.
  • Paul and Barnabas had a strong disagreement and stopped working together (Acts 15.39-40).
I don't think I need to go on. But all through Biblical history, the flaws of God's people were unvarnished.

That's enough for today. Ciao.

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