Hey there David,
Originally Posted by David M
Your criticism applies equally to John's original comment. The Bible says nothing about Uriah being "disobedient." So why don't you criticize John for inserting a word that wasn't there? As usual, you seem to have a double standard which is the source of much error. Here is what the text actually says:
2 Samuel 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 6 ¶ And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error [hashal]; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.When I read this story, it seems obvious that Uzzah was concerned for the welfare of the most sacred object for which he was responsible, so there is a basis for my interpretation that he was acting innocently and in good faith. There is nothing in the story that contradicts this conclusion. Matthew Henry agrees with my assessment of this situation:
Matthew Henry: By some accident or other the ark was in danger of being overthrown. Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark. The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves, yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die, Num. 4:15. Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.Nobody knows the meaning of the word "hashal" because it is not used anywhere else in the Bible or even in literature outside the Bible. The word is variously translated as error, indiscretion, irreverence, or rashness. Scholars dispute if it is a corruption of some other word. The LXX simply omits it, and some translators have followed suit, because how are they supposed to "translate" an unknown word? As an aside, this exemplifies again the error of your assertion that you can study the Bible in isolation of other texts and without the help of the "works of men." There is no way for you to know anything about the Bible without depending upon the "works of men" who translated it and compiled dictionaries that compared Biblical language with other literature from that time period.
I find it quite telling that you go hunting for gnats every time the camel comes to town. It is debatable if Uzzah was innocent or guilty. So you focus on that one disputable minor point (which is utterly irrelevant to the main thrust of my argument) and ignore the central facts that many of the people God slew were innocent, such as the children. Don't you realize that this is a common debating tactic designed to obscure rather than reveal it? Such is not the behavior of a person seeking truth or of a person who loves the truth. A person who loves the truth would immediately recognize the general validity of most of my insertions of the word "innocent" into John's comments. I trust you will take this as brotherly advice. You cannot strengthen your arguments by trying to obscure the truth.
Now on to the comments you inserted in red:
(DM - what you call acccuracy is your perversion of the truth.)If that were true you would not have focused on the one disputable point while ignoring all the indisputable points. If anything is a "perversion of truth" that's it. Indeed, Christ himself made a big point of this kind of error:
Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.Next, you wrote:
If the Bible teaches anything about God, it is that he is not fair, just, moral, good, or even rational (DM - that just goes to show how bad your judgement is and how unfair you can be when you do not say that the Bible teaches us about the goodness of God and his wonderful promises).That's not true at all. On the contrary, the moral abominations attributed to God in the Bible simply contradict the other verses that say God is good. This is a direct proof that the Bible cannot be believe. I say "cannot" in a most literal sense. If a person begins with the normal meaning of "good, kind, just, righteous" then they cannot assert that those attributes apply to God because the actions of God contradict the meaning of those words.
He passed around a group of women like party treats from Saul to David to Absalom with the intent that they be raped on the rooftop to "shame" David. (DM - tedious claptrap again)You call it "tedius claptrap" because you cannot (and to my knowledge have never have even tried) to address this problem. God showed no concern whatsoever for the women he passed from Saul to David to Absalom to be raped on the rooftop. God used those women to hurt David. You cannot say that God was good, kind, just, or righteous in his behavior towards those women.
Such behavior is not befitting any man, let alone a god.(DM - God is no worse and if it were not for man's behaviour in the first place, God would not have been so severe which was a "proportionate response" to quote the army (of men))To say that "God is no worse" than sinful men is to capitulate the argument. Your assertion that God's bad behavior is due to man is absurd because it denies that God is free to choose a better path.
You are pressing way to much into the one disputed point about Uzzah. My arguments are not deceptive. If they were, you could simply expose my error rather than ranting on with unsupported generalities. I did not "say that gulty people are innocent in the face of obvious evidence of their guilt." You found one disputable case and now are asserting that this is something I do as a habit. If anything is deceptive, it is your false accusations against me.
Originally Posted by David M
I really hope you will continue to hang around this forum. I don't want you to "shut up and put up." I want you to present reasoned arguments based on logic and facts to support your assertions. You are getting frustrated because you arguments are fallacious. Many people have come to this forum and quit not because I refused to admit the truth when they showed my error,but because they were unable to make legitimate arguments to show I was wrong. I am interested in nothing but the truth. So don't pretend that I am merely being obstinate. I freely admit when I am wrong. So you should rejoice to be here because if you make a valid argument and show my error, I will admit it, and thank you too! Only a fool would want to retain false opinions. And I ain't no fool.
Originally Posted by David M
1) You are the one who is justifying God. The Bible does not "justify" God in any way. It merely asserts contradictory things about God. Sometimes it says that God is good, kind, merciful, and just. Other times it presents God as an irrational genocidal maniac. If you found such contradictions in any other book, you would conclude that the book is irrational and untrustworthy. Indeed, that's why many Christians reject Islam - they say it contradicts both itself and Christianity. But you can't reject the Bible no matter what it says. Therefore, your judgement has been perverted by your adherence to the doctrine that the Bible is the Word of God.
2) Your statement that "God's actions are no worse than the actions of men" should horrify any Christian.
We share the same hopes David! I am very impressed that you are able to stand the heat in this kitchen. I know it's not easy. You are doing a valiant job and your contributions are very valuable.
Originally Posted by David M
And I too hope that we can drop the "adversarial" attitude. I do not intend to offend. And I know you don't. But sometimes we write things in the heat of the moment that maybe weren't as kind as cool as they should have been. So let me apologize now for both past and future offenses. And remember, if I do say something that is needlesslly offensive, all you need to do is call me out on it and I will apologise.
It's great that you are here my friend. And never forget that there are a LOT more people reading than writing on this forum. I think it's a little to "hot" for many temperaments. But they are reading what you write. Just take a look at the number of views some of the threads have.
All the best to you my friend,