Ethics and justice, the Bible will teach you it...
There are many lovely tales of love and justice found in the Holy Bible. “What, pray tell, is the Holy Bible”, I can almost hear you ask. Excellent question! Let’s have some devout Christians tell us (emphasis mine):
Despite what the world would like to say, there is such a thing as absolute truth, coming straight out of the Word of God, and people ultimately act on what they really think is true, whatever they may say. At Antioch, we want to lay it out up front. Our doctrinal statement declares what is really true, straight from God’s Word, and our Philosophy and Mission statements flow out of our desire to act on that truth.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13).
I. Biblical Authority
Example Verses: II Timothy 3:16-17; I Peter 1:23-25
Baptists hold to the belief that the Bible and its clear, literal teachings are the final authority for faith and practice. We at least attempt to back up everything they believe with “Chapter and Verse”, and hold that anything that is contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible is not true. Such things as church councils, church leaders, tradition, and other books are often hold some authority for other Christian groups.
For the Catholic, what follows will make clear the harmony of Scripture and tradition: truth cannot contradict truth. Whether God speaks to us through the Bible or through the voice of tradition, the word spoken is always a true and steadfast guide.
In short, the Bible is God’s Own Truth.
And, just so we don’t forget, God doesn’t change. “What do you mean God doesn’t change”, I hear you cry. Good that you should ask! Let us get some guidance from ‘the final authority for faith and practice’, God’s Own Truth, The Holy Bible (emphasis mine):
102:26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
102:27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
So, God never, ever changes and the Bible is the inerrant, literal Word of God. Got that? Right, with that out of the way, I have a story I should like to tell. A parable if you will.
Not too long ago there was a gentleman by the name of Rush “Randy” Limbaugh (all characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental) and he was very close to God. As a conservative man, Randy went to church every Sunday (see, I told you it was a coincidence) and prayed to God several times a day and he read the Bible which he firmly knew was the literal Word of God. Randy was as close to God as a good, God fearing Republican could be.
Now, Randy being Randy, he got involved with several women during the course of his life. He was at various stages married to Roxy, Michelle, Marta and Kathryn and he had several sons. Notably, by Marta he had a son called Adam.
Tragically, Randy couldn’t control his… er… love for woman and the one day he saw a very attractive intern at the broadcast corporation where he worked called Betty. Now, Betty was in a relationship with Uri who worked for Randy. Randy was pretty well connected and quite devious. Through some sneaky scheming he got Uri re-assigned to a foreign office on the very day that – incredibly conveniently – incriminating photo’s of Uri were delivered to Betty. Betty broke up with poor Uri and Randy provided a convenient shoulder to cry on. He quickly managed to seduce Betty and have… er… carnal relations with her – which was cheating on his current wife Kathryn. Betty fell pregnant almost immediately – Randy was sure his God didn’t approve of birth control you see.
God didn’t like this one bit – he was incredibly pissed off – so He cursed the child that Randy and Betty had created.
Some time after Randy started cheating on Katheryn with Betty, God spoke to pastor Rick ‘Nathan’ Warren (purely coincidental fiction, I assure you) personally and told him to go and punish Randy. He gave explicit instructions on how Randy’s punishment was to be carried out.
Nathan went forth has God had commanded and hired a great stage to be constructed on the National Mall in Washington DC with all the bells and whistles – big screens so everybody in a large crowd could see the action, fancy lighting, huge sound systems, the works. Nathan then invited every devout Christian in the country to come and witness Randy’s punishment, to be carried out exactly as required by Yahweh – the creator God of the universe.
On the day of the punishment, Nathan’s henchmen brought Randy to the stage and put him in a chair off to the left of the stage where he could properly witness the events of the day. After Randy was seated, Nathan’s people brought out Roxy, Michelle, Marta and Kathryn to the stage followed by Randy’s son, Adam.
Next, Randy’s wife and ex-wives were stripped naked in front of the crowd of millions and Adam proceeded to rape them where everybody could see, so that all in attendance knew the justice of the Lord.
Later, Betty gave birth to Randy’s son but since God had cursed the child, he died a week later. Randy went on to live a long and illustrious life, sleeping with literally hundreds of women.
I will leave you to figure out the moral of that parable on your own. Now, strangely, some people might be upset by that story and I am not sure why. It is a beautiful depiction of how the justice of the Christian deity works, how much he loves people and how much he loves and respects women in particular. It is a beautiful thing is it not?
What? You don’t believe me? Come on now, you give me too much credit. I couldn’t come up with a gem of a story like that on my own – I simply don’t have the skills. Nay, I did but paraphrase a story directly from the unchanging, inerrant word of the almighty creator of the universe. I shit you, in fact, not.
The beautiful tale is found in 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12 with the delightful conclusion in 2 Samuel 16.
Let me quote some of it, I do insist (emphasis mine):
2 Samuel 11:
11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
11:3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
11:4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
2 Samuel 12:
12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
12:15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
12:18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.
2 Samuel 16:
16:21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.
16:22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
And there you have it. Divine love and justice. It does make me wonder though, what kind of person – who in their right mind actually – would want to worship the being that figures that having several women raped in public by the son of their husband (I believe that’s a stepson…) and an unborn child killed for the adultery of a man is good and just? Who, in their right mind?
I figure its pretty freaking terrible to be a female Christian. Just think what it must be like to live in a world where, should your cheating bastard husband find himself a bit on the side, you get raped in public for his crime and sweet nothing happens to him. Couldn’t happen? Why not?
And Christian men? How would they feel if dear Jesus had to come down out of the clouds and had to instruct them to rape their stepmother (and possibly their own mother) in public because their father cheated on his wife with another woman and arranged for her husband to have an ‘accident’? I have to ask Christian men the following:
Yes or no: would you happily rape your stepmother in public if God told you to?
Won’t happen? Can’t happen? Why not?
If it can’t happen… then one or both the following is true: God changes and the Bible lies or – more simply – there is no God and these tragic horror stories are entirely man-made.
Seriously, there is something very, very wrong with people who believe in this horror, want to worship the monster who thought it up and who are not utterly repulsed by the thought of this travesty.
God is love? Christian morals? Right. Tell me another one.
Always! Be awesome.