Bible Bashing

I was a missionary in Chile for 2 years from ’97 – ’99. I went because I truly believe that the religion I belong to is true and I wanted to share the ‘good news’ with others. I learned a lot of things about life and looking back, I can see how my experiences there have shaped almost every aspect of my life and life views.

As a missionary, it was our objective to invite people to learn about what we believe and what makes our religion different. There are so many different people in this world and so many different religions. South America is predominately Christian, so most everyone already had a belief in Jesus Christ. Almost everyone I talked to believed in the Bible, as we do. Their belief in the Bible made it easier to teach those willing to listen and learn about us because we could teach them right out of their own scriptures about the gospel.

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One thing I never did was Bible bash. I don’t think it works. You can fight all day with the Bible and even if you do end up proving your point, you will never make a friend or ally of someone you’ve had contentions with over scripture. It’s a classic lose-lose situation. It was my experience that those not willing to listen just will not listen, no matter what you are offering. And that’s OK. I believe in choice and I respect that. I’m sure I have been in the past and will be in the future stubborn on certain issues.

I want to relate this to politics. There are many things about our current situation that I feel strongly about. Now, I can’t say with as much certainty that my perspective in regard to politics and current affairs is as rock-solid as my faith in my religion. But, I can say that with both my faith and my positions on government, I seek only the truth. I am not vested in any party or movement. If I discover that I am wrong, I change my views. I have done this many times. I don’t think I would get along very well with myself from even 5 years ago. I have gone through many changes and much discovery over the last few years.

I am willing to listen to opposing points of view. I welcome honest political discussion. I think debates are useful. But I will not fight with you. I don’t like to do it and I think it is unproductive.

If you are intellectually honest and your motivations are pure, we can talk… even if we disagree. At the end of the day, we may even agree to disagree. That’s OK. If you or I bring up a point and the other disagrees, let’s talk about it and find out what the truth is together. This is where hopefully honest discussion prevails.

But if you cannot defend or uphold your views in the face of honest questioning, wouldn’t I be dishonest not to question your motivations? If you share the positions of known evil men or theories that have been factually disproven, who wouldn’t be skeptical and wonder why? If you attack me personally or belittle or diminish, I must dismiss you as fundamentally dishonest (at least on the issue at hand) and am forced to conclude you are willing to sacrifice truth in order to “win”.

A personal attack in order to avoid facts and logic is intellectually dishonest. A debate like this can never have a purposeful conclusion and anyone who engages in these Alinsky techniques that have become so popular and accepted, as far as I’m concerned, does not have a solid footing in their side of the issue. The only question at that point is whether they are ignorant, misguided or worst of all, invested in the outcome of a lie.

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Would Jesus be for the public option?

I read the below opinion piece today in The Hill. I’ve also heard others pose similar arguments in an attempt to brand anyone who disagrees with their designs anti-Christian.

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Jesus would support the public option

By Brent Budowsky – 10/05/09 01:46 PM ET

As the president appears to be pushing harder for the public option and Senate Democratic leaders appear to be joining him, here is one vitally important argument on their behalf: Isn’t it fair to suggest that Jesus would support the public option?

Jesus spoke about the need to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, heal the ill, cure the sick and put the needs of the poor ahead of the hunger for money and wealth. Sure sounds more like the public option than premium-gouging and $10 million salaries for insurance-company CEOs. Right?
The late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said for a generation that healthcare is a moral issue for our times. He was right. There is rapacious greed in the healthcare industry, and most particularly with insurers who have been raising premiums, cutting benefits and throwing hard-hit policymakers to the wolves.

Those running insurance companies have neither the interest nor the desire nor the history of looking out for those in need, or looking out for the hard-pressed middle class.

Those running a public option would have no priority higher than the noble and worthy goals.

I think Jesus would want the poor and middle class taken care of, and not punished by the greed or indifference that plagues the current system.

I believe Jesus would side with the public option, not the insurers.

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First off, I don’t think Jesus would have sided with the demon from the underworld formerly  known to us as Ted Kennedy. 😉

The author misunderstands the role of agency – the defining principle of this life – and Jesus’s understanding of this divine principle.

Ask yourself these questions and try to reconcile your answers with the author’s premise, which is ‘Not allowing a govt-run health care system would un-Christlike” :

Did Jesus overturn the moneychangers’ tables because making money was evil or because the venue was inappropriate?

Why didn’t Jesus heal everyone on the Earth while he was here? He certainly could have.

In my opinion, the author’s premise begs the question in that a government-run system would be a catastrophe, less efficient, more expensive, therefore ‘worse’ for all people and thereby thwarting what he supposes Jesus would want. But let’s set aside this factor of the issue.

Heath care is less a right than so many other things. How about food? How about reading, writing, freedom? So many in the world are without the basics. How about shelter (we dabbled with this and got Fannie, Freddie, and the current crisis we’re in)? We can never have an intellectually honest debate about health care until we can debate whether it is a right or not. Period. I firmly believe it is not! They use this argument to foster a false urgency. But, let’s set that aside, too.

Most importantly, Jesus never taught about government benevolence. Actually, benevolence and government are usually oxymorons. He was here to teach us as individuals. We will not be judged by what actions were taken by the government under which we live has or has not done. We will be judged by what we as individuals do. In addition to waste, inefficiency, lack of innovation, and low quality, having a govt-run system will deprive us of the blessings of service and sacrifice for our fellow man.

I don’t know exactly what Jesus would say about this whole debauchery, but I am confident he would agree that our corrupt and perverted government would not be the most capable of running anything fair, efficient and charitable.