I apologizes if this is not the right section. I just wanted some thoughts on this whole thing. Anyway, long story short (sorta) I saw someone post this...
"...if you ever want to get an idea of what a Christianity is all about, read the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For those are the books that talk about Jesus' walk on earth and He WAS perfect and IS the best example of how a Christian should be living."
My reply was...
"Matthew 5:44 says, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
and then later on we read...
Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ Matthew 15:1-5.
AMP Bible says, "...let him surely come to his end by death."
Easy to Read version says, "...must be killed."
So bless them that curse you one second and then we are to kill children who curse their mother and father the next. Interesting...I don't know about perfect, but perfect contradiction, absolutely.
I'm a former Christian, now an agnostic atheist."
Anyway, after a few people refusing to engage me and just mocking me one person actually gave a proper response. He says...
"The Word says not to allow what is good to be spoken of as evil, and we are not to allow the faith of those who are weak to be shipwrecked by the enemy's schemes. I will try to be brief.
First off, It would appear that way when taking things completely out of context. You conveniently left out Matthew 15:5-6 (NIV)
" 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition."
These men were breaking the law of God for their own traditions and he calls them on it.
The hebrews had just been freed from the yoke of egyptian slavery and were few in number. The father is the priest of his home, and the authority in it as he is to present his family before God blameless. They needed to learn the fear of the Lord, and Moses had just come down with the Ten Commandments, and is giving the law of the Lord. For the nation of Israel to learn, there needed to be the Law. It shows them where they fall short and shows everyone their need for Jesus. When Jesus came, he fulfilled the law and extended Grace that surpasses the punishment through forgiveness. Jesus came to forgive those that repent. The wages of sin is death, therefore, every sin will result in death (spiritually) without sacrifice, which was met and finished through Jesus. God never changes, He had it all planned out from before the beginning. How can you forgive something that isn't wrong? We need a definition of wrongness, and sinning against one's parents is a destruction of the family God established and by extension, disrespects God. But when Jesus came, the sacrifice was met on the Cross. Therefore there is no contradiction, but speaking how to live in grace and life, and furthermore it ties in to
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV)
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
Now, he did a lot of rambling on, but I didn't see where he even addressed the contradiction. I haven't even replied to it at this time, and I may not because I feel it'll get me nowhere. But if I do reply, I'll reply with this...
"I didn't leave out Matthew 15:5-6 in-order to prove anything. 5-6 really doesn't change much. I understand what you're saying, and I appreciate the reply. However you didn't address the fact that in one place in Matthew is tells us "Bless them that curse you..." and then Matthew 15:1-5 we're reading that they're to be put to death. Which is in direct contradiction to the blessing that Matthew 5:44 talks about. You basically just iterated more on the meaning of Matthew 15:1-6. and the events going on surrounding that time. I get that they're breaking the commandments/laws of God. But how is that going to dismiss the contradiction? Whether breaking laws/commandments or not Matthew 5:44 still says, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" and Matthew 15:1-5 still says to put children to death for cursing their parents. And is spiritual death really any better than physical death? I mean spiritual death will cause eternal burning. Plus, everyone seems to have a different definition on what spiritual death even means and if there is even such a thing. I brought this contradiction up a while ago with my grandmother and she had told me it wasn't physical death, but rather spiritual as you're suggesting. Well, she looked it up in a book she has, sadly I don't have the name of it. Basically it's a book that explains the meanings and usages of certain words in different verses. Anyway, when she looked it up in the book trying to prove me wrong she ended up proving me right and the book said that it was indeed physical death. So, saying the death is spiritual seems to be a copout, and I would argue that it is really no better than physical death. You also you said, "God never changes, He had it all planned out from before the beginning." So, doesn't that mean there is no free will? If everything is planned out then anything that goes wrong in the world is on God, he had everything planned out."
So basically, what I wanted to know was, did he actually address the contradiction? Or just talk around? It seemed to me like he more of talked around it, but correct me if I am wrong. And how is my potential reply to him?
You cannot win. The apologist believes without proof, the definition of faith.
The best you can do is get them to admit that.
1 Peter 3:15 states that the Christian must be able to give good reason for his faith. The burden is not on the atheist to prove the Christian mistaken, by both logic and Peter's own standard.
All you have to do is dismiss him: When you understand the reason for your faith (reason, not wishful thinking), then come talk to me. You do not follow the dictates of your own Bible so why should I?
You cannot win a tit-for-tat debate over Bible verses. 1 Peter 3:15 is the only one you need to know, because the apologist can never give reason for his faith. Faith is belief without proof; faith is gullibility.
Well, I think to an extent you can beat them. Just not in there own heads. Not to mention they will put things out of there ass and make them sound like fact, and they'll twist verses and use personal translations to get the results they want. So, yes in a sense you can't win going tit-for-tat unless you can keep them honest, which is like trying to move a mountain. So yes, I see what you're saying. Thank you. Oh, and one last thing, did he talk around the contradiction or did he actually answer it? I can't see how he answered it at all.
If you are willing to discuss the topic rationally and honestly, and they are not, you have already "beaten them." Thus there is little point in trying.
If they hold the Bible is the literal word of God, then they cannot honestly twist verses to mean something other than what they say. Hold them to that too. It's what's in the print, no more no less. Leave your family and goods and follow Jesus; that is in the New Testament.
So is women keeping silent.
But as I mentioned before, you cannot really convince someone who believes without proof; they have to convince themselves. A real reading of the Bible is the best way to make an atheist.
About the only other tactic you can use is ask them to ask for your interpretation of their favourite passages.
My personal favorite also has a logistical twist to it, and it starts here:
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
-- Luke 6:27
And EXACTLY 13 chapters later, we get this:
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
-- Luke 19:27
So ... love your enemies but kill 'em anyway? I don't know how much more blatantly contradictory you can get, frankly.
I do agree with James that debating about the content of the bible is a mug's game at best, when apologetics allow for any damned thing they want out of their holy book. I DO think that pointing out contradictions is a valuable way to at least make them LOOK at portions of their holy book which they may not know about, and the Skeptic's Annotated Bible is excellent to that end. Indeed, it has an entire section on contradictions and lists them multiple ways.
Yes, I've used the Skeptic's Annotated Bible quite a bit. And I've never seen that contradiction before, but there are certainly a lot of them.