Genesis 5 — Be begotten, not forgotten?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Genesis 5 — Be begotten, not forgotten?

Genesis 5 is pretty easy to blog. Mostly a lot of "begats" in some attempt apparently by God’s chosen people to keep a history of their ancestors. There is nothing wrong with doing this of course, it might even be considered a noble sort of pursuit, provided the information you keep is accurate and not just made up.

God was apparently so mad at humans after Adam’s fall that he originally let humans live up to 969 years. As the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible points out, this was despite the fact that God promised Adam he would die the day he ate of the fruit of knowledge. God was only hundreds of years off, which is a lot more accurate than his faithful young-Earth creationists likely being billions of years off about the age of the planet!

Was this reprieve a blessing or a curse for Adam and Eve? Genesis 5:2 says that God "blessed them". This is the same God who threw them out of paradise and condemned them to suffering and death for all their descendants, all on account of eating some fruit that made them smart. And then after this, God lets them suffer for hundreds of years!  Genesis 5:29 correctly reminds readers that God "cursed" the ground. So it doesn’t seem like such a blessing to me. What on Earth did Adam and Eve, and their ancestors, do with their lives for hundreds of years? Struggle to survive, I suppose. I would think with having very little else to do in those days (few people around to talk to, no pay-per-view…) that it may have been worse than death. Maybe that was God’s idea, to keep them around to suffer even more?!?

I’m glad this is a fictional account, otherwise it would be rather cruel. You could actually see someone enjoying living 900 years nowadays if their health permitted it, but just wandering around the desert for hundreds of years must not have been pleasant. Fortunately, there is no reason, besides the Bible itself, to believe humans used to live (and suffer) that long. I used to take "for the Bible tells me so" as proof enough for anything the Bible said, but realize now that you shouldn’t based your entire worldview on one grossly unproven document, no matter how much it (or other people) tells you it’s true.

About all the people born in this chapter, as far as I know, we find out little to nothing about most of them. Why are they included in the Bible, then? What good is just having someone’s name if you’re trying to remember your civilization’s history? How does a list of random names fulfill God’s holy purpose? God really needed an editor to cut the bloat out of this thing.

We do see that Adam (and presumably Eve) had some daughters in this chapters, though they go unnamed (since women aren’t really all that important). So this may answer how the human race got started: it was brothers and sisters having sex. Don’t try this at home, folks, it’s just some good ol’ family values from the fictional Bible.

Palin’s religion

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin’s religion

Note: I originally posted a version of this blog as a comment on Dwindling in Unbelief , the blog for http://skepticsannotatedbible.com (SAB).

This election cycle just gets stranger in terms of religion. John McCain’s VP pick is a Pentecostal Christian , specifically she has been associated with the Assemblies of God . They believe in such rational things as prophesy and speaking in tongues. Not just in Biblical times, but today, as in still going on in now. Most Christians would think this is way out there, but there unfortunately are a number of denominations that do believe such things.

Palin’s former pastor described her as a "modern-day Esther". Steve Wells (who runs the SAB) pointed out reasons why this might not be such a flattering comparison: "When it was Esther turn to ‘go in unto the king,’ she pleases him the most. So, having won the sex contest, she is made queen in Vashti’s place. (Esther) 2:8-17 "

You would think Palin would get insulted at being compared to Esther. But if she reads a spinned version of Esther’s story such as this one , she apparently would think it was about some fun Extreme Makeover, Biblical edition.

This article asks us, "Are you allowing God to give you beauty treatment?" and tells us that the 12-month beauty treatment Esther went under before she was allowed to have sex with the King "was a physical treatment carried out with oils. Oil in the old testament represented the Holy Spirit."

And of course, "A carnal Christian maybe able to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it takes a person who has dedicated herself willingly to the Lord to manifest the fruit of the spirit."

Most importantly, perhaps, your "background does not hinder your future with God". And your lack of political background does not hinder your future as vice president, apparently.

Here’s some of the fun stuff Palin and/or her true religion (before she wimped out from officially being in the Assemblies of God) preach. I like the fact that she prayed for a pipeline and that her pastor thinks that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the last days". Did you know that "hundreds and thousands of people are gonna come to the state to seek refuge?" (YouTube pt 1 , pt 2 ).

Maybe the perfect ticket would have been Romney-Palin. The Garden of Eden in Jackson County, Missouri, and the end times in Alaska. God bless America!