Tuesday, April 18, 2006

They Should Get Their Stories Straight...

So here's an article about a bunch of Christian churches in Africa, where they say "the use of water to bless or curse anybody is witchcraft" and "pastors who have more than one wife, contrary to Bible teaching."

Have they even read their bibles?

Let's look at the first complaint from some of these churches:

"Some of these pastors tell their followers to go to a well-known stream in that area and draw water so that their businesses may prosper"
Okay, I can't see how this would really be a church-sanctioned use of water. Granted, there's holy water in the Catholic church, which is really only good for getting rid of vampires and baptizing baby's, right? So saying to "get some water from a certain stream or river, and that they'll be blessed," certainly sounds like a croc. But then the pastor who is complaining about these practices says, "the use of water to bless or curse anybody is witchcraft." So I can guess they are not catholic and that they don't believe in baptism.

Another complaint by certain pastors about what other pastors say is:

"[...] some pastors tell their followers to pray in the names of the dead for blessings."
Um, excuse me, hello?!?!?! Again, they must not be Catholic, cause the saints are dead people, Mary is a dead person, and... oh, wait, that's right, Jesus died, but then he rose again, so I guess he's not technically considered dead. And there was that Elijah guy who was brought up to heaven in a fiery chariot... he might not be dead, but eternity with all those third-degree burns? I think I'd rather be...

And one final point, the most ludicrous of all, is:

They have also castigated pastors who have more than one wife, contrary to Bible teaching.
Let's do a tally of Biblical marriages, shall we?
  • Esau had at least three wives (Gen. 26:34)
  • Jacob has two wives and two concubines (Gen. 32:22)
  • God explains how to go about selling your daughter (Ex. 21:7)
  • God's instructions for taking a second wife (Ex. 21:10)
  • Gideon had 70 sons (no one knows how many daughters) "for he had many wives" (Judg. 8:30)
  • "He [Samuel's father] had two wives." (I Sam. 1:2)
  • "And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died." This was convenient for David who then took his property and his wife, Abigail. (I Sam. 25:38)
  • David takes his second wife (Abigail) after God killed her husband (Nabal). He also, at the same time, took another wife (#3), Abinam. In the meantime, Saul gave Michal (his daughter and David's first wife) to another man. (I Sam. 25:41-44)
  • David just keeps getting more wives. God doesn't seem to mind a bit. (I Sam. 30:5)
  • David, by this time, has at least seven wives (Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Ehlah), and he was just getting started. (II Sam. 3:2-5)
  • "And David took him more concubines and wives." (How many? God knows I suppose, but he doesn't tell us in the Bible.) (II Sam. 5:13)
  • God gave the wives of king Saul to David. (II Sam. 12:7-8)
  • David leaves ten of his concubines home to clean house. (II Sam. 15:16)
  • To punish his ten concubines for being raped by his son, Absalom (See II Sam. 16:21-22), David refuses to ever again have sex with them and forces them to "keep house" for the rest of their lives. (II Sam. 20:3)
  • "King Solomon loved many strange women. And he had 700 wives and 300 concubines." God didn't mind the number so much; it was their strangeness that he objected to. (I Kings 11:1-3)
  • Note that Solomon is told to stay away from foreign women. Why? Because they have different ("strange") religious beliefs, and God disapproves of mixed-faith marriages. (I Kings 11:2)
  • The wisest man that ever lived (1 Kings 4:31) was misled by his wives into worshipping other gods. (I Kings 11:4, 15:3)
  • Ashur had two wives, continuing the long line of biblical polygamists. (I Chron. 4:5)
  • "And David took more wives" with the apparent approval of God. (I Chron. 14:3)
  • Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. Once again, if silence implies consent, then God must approve of such arrangements. (II Chron. 11:21)
  • "But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives." Apparently, in the eyes of God, a man's status is determined by the number of wives that he possesses. (II Chron. 13:21)
  • "Jehoiada took for him two wives" -- without comment, complaint, or criticism from the bible. (II Chron. 24:3)
This could go on forever. The only--only portion of the bible which anyone ever takes to mean that "one man should be with only one woman" is when Jesus, in the New Testament, quotes Genesis in the Old Testament, when he says, "And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain (NEVER AGAIN TWO), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt 19:5-6) In Mark, he says it slightly differently: "And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain (NEVER AGAIN TWO), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:8-9)

The passage in Genesis says: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24).

And then Paul feels the need to add his two cents with: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Eph. 5:31) Of course, this is after Paul says it's better not to marry at all, if you can help it: (I Corinthians 7:6) "For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that."

Of course, Paul is also the one that lays out most Christians arguments for the "one man/one woman" theory in this passage: "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment." (I Cor. 7:1-6)

But I suppose because Paul said it, it must be biblical, am I right?

Not that I care either way... but if you are going to claim to teach the damn bible, then get your fucking story straight, okay?

6 comments:

Kelly said...

My eyes have officially burned. I won't be visiting anymore.

Weird said...

Wacky old Bible; if you take out the contradictions there would be nothing left...

Weird

"And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter." - Thomas Jefferson

Jason Hughes said...

Kelly: I'd throw some holy water on your eyes to heal them, but that might be practicing witchcraft...

:D

Weird: Like the quote!

Bill said...

Admitedly the connection between witchcraft and water blessings is a stretch.

However; the use of water as a blessing and baptism may have had similar roots but the meaning of baptism by most church's interpretation has little to do with blessings and more to do with the symbolic death and resurrection of the person "death to sin alive in Christ" or so it is said.

So yes they have read their bibles but interpreted it differently.

The idea of praying in the name of the dead is something that the protestant church has always objected to, but even though the Catholic church accepts a form of this they don’t accept that the saints can really do anything but intercede with Christ (dubious I think).

In your biblical search you missed a couple verses that addresses polygamy. (Unfortunately from Paul, who was misogynistic)

1 Timothy 3 : 2 and 12

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

This is used as the basis for a defence of monogamy as Bishops and Deacons are the examples of Christ in the Church to many faiths (how they defend that I am not sure)

I suspect that the people were not entirely subject to this outside the Bishops and deacons,

But being a married man I can see that there could be some serious problems with having more than one wife (-:

Jason Hughes said...

Yeah, anything from Paul must be taken with a grain of salt... and my father says the same thing about having more than one wife! :)

Thanks for pointing out the verses, though!

Bill said...

Admitedly the connection between witchcraft and water blessings is a stretch.

However; the use of water as a blessing and baptism may have had similar roots but the meaning of baptism by most church's interpretation has little to do with blessings and more to do with the symbolic death and resurrection of the person "death to sin alive in Christ" or so it is said.

So yes they have read their bibles but interpreted it differently.

The idea of praying in the name of the dead is something that the protestant church has always objected to, but even though the Catholic church accepts a form of this they don’t accept that the saints can really do anything but intercede with Christ (dubious I think).

In your biblical search you missed a couple verses that addresses polygamy. (Unfortunately from Paul, who was misogynistic)

1 Timothy 3 : 2 and 12

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

This is used as the basis for a defence of monogamy as Bishops and Deacons are the examples of Christ in the Church to many faiths (how they defend that I am not sure)

I suspect that the people were not entirely subject to this outside the Bishops and deacons,

But being a married man I can see that there could be some serious problems with having more than one wife (-: