When I talk to believers, it’s amazing the reverence they have for the Bible. It’s really moving the emotion that surfaces when they’re on that subject. They say that it’s literally the most important book in history. It’s important because it was written (or inspired to be written) by the creator of the Universe and everything in it, including us; and because it carries the most important message in the history of mankind. They go on and on about its poetry, it’s beauty, and it’s Truth; and about all the guidelines it contains for living a good life.
But I stop them long enough to ask them, “How many times have you read it?”, and more often than not, they say they haven’t.
I say “What?”, and they look embarrassed, and squirm a little, so I bear down.
“You’ve just been telling me that it’s the one-and-only, original work of the creator of the universe. It’s the book where you say all your morals come from, and that I can’t even HAVE morals because I don’t subscribe to it. And that it was written by the one person who will make the decision about where you will be spending your eternal life; AND YOU HAVEN’T READ IT!?
THIS is the book that you bring to government meetings and demand that we adhere to. THIS is the book that you claim should keep 2 loving gay individuals from finding fulfillment in marriage. THIS is the book that you pound when you make fantastic claims about souls, sin, salvation and the hereafter. And THIS is the book that you claim contains complete and total TRUTH, without a single contradiction. But you haven’t read it!?
What kind of mental gymnastics does it take to convince yourself that you don’t NEED to read it!? You claim to be a Christian. You claim to love and worship the Eternal Author, and that you converse with him every day. You claim to love Him more than anybody else, including your family. You claim that He watches every move you make, and every single thought you have; and judges you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for you entire life. Yet you can’t be bothered to read His book? I know atheists that have read it, but you haven’t?!
The next time you pray you should at least address this little oversight. Ask god to forgive you for your terrible lack of faith, and then get down to reading it.
Keep in mind that this is an Atheist telling you to read the Bible. Not what you’d expect, I bet. When was the last time your preacher told to you read it? Ever? And you never hear a Priest tell you to. Do you ever wonder why not? Could it be that if you did you might find out that what you hear them preach is a lot different than what you’ll read in it? There are only about 100 stories from the Bible that preachers will preach about on any given Sunday. The rest? Well, they’re not really for polite company.
For instance, did you know that God chiseled out the Ten Commandments twice; and that they aren’t the same commandments? In Exodus 20: 2-17 are the ones you are familiar with, but in Exodus 34:6-7 He gives another set to replace the first set that was broken by Moses. But they aren’t the same. And the 2nd set is the only one referred to in the bible as “the Ten Commandments”.
God condones a human sacrifice in Judges 11-12 . You’re familiar with the story of Abraham, where God commanded him to sacrifice his son but then sent an angel to stop him. But have you heard of the story of Jephthah? An Israelite general makes a promise to God in order to win a battle. The results of which are that he has to make a human sacrifice of his only daughter to God. And God doesn’t stop him like he did Abraham. No, he has to go through with it.
Did you know that Jesus killed a date tree for not having dates when he wanted some? No lesson there, just Jesus being pissed at a tree for not having fruit, out of season, and killing it. (Mark 11:12-25)
Or the story of the prophet Elisha who, when he was teased by some little children about being bald, cursed them in the name of God. God then sent 2 bears to rip 42 of those children apart? (2 Kings 2:23-24)
Or in Judges (19:22-29) where a mob demands to be able to rape a godly master’s guest. The master offers his daughter and a concubine to them instead. They take the concubine and gang-rape her all night. The master finds her, dead, on his doorstep in the morning. He then cuts her into 12 pieces, and sends the pieces to the heads of the twelve tribes.
Or in Lev. 26:27-29, Deu. 28-53-57 and Jeremiah 19:9 where God threatens to punish Israelites (and by extension, us) by making them eat their own children if they don’t obey his commandments; and remember there are 613 commandments in the Bible, not just 10. (Deuteronomy and Leviticus are full of them.)
Or in Exodus (9:12), where Pharaoh is about to release the Israelite slaves but God “hardens his heart” (and taking away his free will in the matter), keeping him from doing it. Why? Apparently just so God could release his 10 plagues on Egypt and kill the firstborn Egyptian children.
The bible is full of these barbaric, horrific stories. A simple web search will turn up dozens of them.
But why don’t you know of these stories? It’s YOUR religion. It’s what you’re trying your best to foster onto the rest of us, by using the power of government, when you vote for your evangelical candidates.
Most Christians treat the Bible like a EULA (end-users license agreement). They just scroll to the bottom and hit “approve”.
Grow up! Take a little responsibility for your own beliefs, and your own actions! READ what you’re signing off on; and see if it really matches up with what you think it says.