Red Alert Style Alternate History and God’s Wisdom


What’s wrong with God? Why doesn’t He answer all our prayers? Even well-meaning, selfless prayers for other people? Why does He let innocent children across the world suffer and die? He has the power, after all. All He has to do is will it, and all pain and sadness will end! So why doesn’t the God of love do it?

Why didn’t He save 6 million of His people from the Holocaust? All He had to do was give Hitler a heart attack, and World War II would never have happened in the first place! How could that NOT be in the plans of a God of love?

Well, what if we could change the past by bugging God relentlessly and accusing Him of neglect? This is how it might turn out… (Inspired by the storyline of the Red Alert series)

ALTERNATE REALITY HISTORY OF EARTH:

God, we want You to stop Hitler before he ever brings suffering and misery to this world! Don’t You care about the millions who died? You can stop it from happening You know. So why don’t You? What an uncaring God!

1930s: Days before he would have taken power in Germany, Adolf Hitler dies from a  mysterious heart attack. The Nazi Party never unites the nation, and World War II is not initiated by the Germans.

Wow! That was so cool, God! Looks like You do answer worthy prayers after all!

1940s: With no major rivals in Europe, Josef Stalin sees a ripe opportunity. Gathering an army of millions and building thousands of cheap but sturdy tanks, he launches a massive invasion. Europe, Asia and Africa fall beneath the heel of Soviet Russia and a long winter of inhuman suffering begins.

Adoi, God! What a huge mistake YOU made! Even more people are going to suffer and die from worldwide communist control! Some more, they are forced to not believe in You. Such a huge blunder!

1950s: Protected from immediate invasion by the vast Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Americas quickly prepare a counter-strike. While the UWSR (Union of World Socialist Republics) is busy trying to subdue dozens of newly intergrated nations, the USA develops futuristic new superweapons to even the odds.

When the time is right, an alliance of free nations (including the USA, Canada, Central and South Americas, Australia and New Zealand) launch a campaign to defeat the Commies. By 1960, they have won. The world is free to progress without the purges and inhumanity of the Communists.

Free trade and open flow of information brings unprecedented advancement to human civilization. Without a Cold War to fight and nuclear war to deter, nations focus on peaceful scientific research. Soon, all poverty, disease and hunger are eliminated. Humanity reaches a true worldwide Golden Age.

Woo-hoo! So You actually knew what You were doing, God! No hundreds of millions of deaths from Communist rule during the Cold War! God, You are the best!

2000s: Jealous and afraid of our great achievements, alien invaders blow up the entire Solar System.

……….. GODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!

The moral of this fanciful story? God’s wisdom is far greater, deeper and far-reaching than all our puny intellects combined. He is the infinite, so trust Him to make decisions that affect infinity. He knows best.

When something bad happens, we shouldn’t immediately pick up a bullhorn and curse God for not preventing it. He has something planned for the good. No matter how terrible something may seem, God will use it for the greatest good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

After all, isn’t that how one would describe Jesus’ death on the cross?

So whatever suffering we may see in our short lives on this earth, trust and have faith that when the time is right… He will make everything good.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.”          – Isaiah 55:8-9

See also TV Tropes: For Want of A Nail, the Real Life section.


71 Responses to “Red Alert Style Alternate History and God’s Wisdom”

  1. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Such a huge blunder!”

    That’s the only sensible conclusion one could reach after reading the bible and listening to Christian theology.

    In act one, God creates heaven and the angels. Soon after his brightest angel, Lucifer, exercises his ‘free will’ and rebels, convincing one third of the angels to join him. Didn’t see that one coming.

    In act two, God creates earth and mankind, but Lucifer takes the form of a snake and convinces/deceives Eve into disobeying God’s directive not to partake of the forbidden fruit. Didn’t see that one coming either. Infuriated, he kicks curses the whole lot and kicks everyone out of the garden. Satan however is given free reign to phuck things up.

    After centuries of watching men doing their own thing, God finally has enough and decides to wipe out everything he created on earth — men, women, children, babies, chimps, kittens, puppies, lizards, snails, earthworms, etc., the whole works — and start afresh with a select family of humans and pairs of each species. Noah’s first act after stepping off the floating zoo is to distill strong spirits, get smashed, and lie naked in his tent. His son stumbles in and sees his father passed out in the buff. Soon after, things degenerate and the repopulated earth is right back to where it started before the flood. Another failure to launch.

    Beset with this string of failures and rejections, God alights on a less ambitious project: becoming best buddies with just one tribe of humanity. Ultimately, they reject him too. Woe be God. Things just aren’t coming to fruition.

    At this point you would expect god to step back and reconsider his enduring awesomeness and planning skills, but that’s just not Yah’s weh. In a last ditch effort, he sends his only son (who’s your mamma?) to save mankind. They crucify him.

    Totally thwarted, god goes off to skulk in a far off sector of the universe and is never heard from again.

  2. Scott Thong Says:

    I believe that Satan did NOT want Jesus to die on the cross, but rather was trying his best to keep Jesus AWAY from the cross.

    Because as the devil would know from reading the Scriptures (but self-absorbed polemicists somehow do not), the very act of Jesus dying is what saves mankind from their own sins.

    But maybe you actually knew that, and in your excitement to snark just made a little blunder.

  3. Joe the Plumber Says:

    Well that’s a switch. The same Satan who’s constantly accused of corrupting the entire planet and deceiving mankind was incapable of beguiling the Romans and Jews from executing Jesus? Then who, pray-tell goaded them all on to carry through with the crucifixion?

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Well the whole concept of how powerful the devil is depends on your personal belief.

    For instance, the standard Hollywood concept is that Satan is the ‘master of hell’, whereas the Biblical concept is more like ‘inmate of hell’.

    And I’ve just recently read a hypothesis that goes, the devil has absolutely no power over humans except what power we hand over to him.

  5. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Well the whole concept of how powerful the devil is depends on your personal belief.”

    Personally, I don’t believe in Satan or demons. I was merely regurgitating what the sheeple have been telling me for all these years.

    “For instance, the standard Hollywood concept is that Satan is the ‘master of hell’, whereas the Biblical concept is more like ‘inmate of hell’.”

    I like Al Pacino’s portrayal of Satan (John Milton) in “The Devil’s Advocate” the best.

    John Milton: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha. And while you’re jumpin’ from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughin’ His sick, f*ckin’ a$$ off! He’s a tight-a$$! He’s a SADIST! He’s an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!

    Kevin Lomax: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”, is that it?

    John Milton: Why not? I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I’ve nurtured every sensation man’s been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I’m a fan of man! I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.

    “And I’ve just recently read a hypothesis that goes, the devil has absolutely no power over humans except what power we hand over to him.”

    That’s odd, because the Bible contains stories about Jesus casting out demons. In one instance he sends them into a herd of pigs, which run off into a lake and drown. I bet the owner was REALLY happy about that.

  6. Joe the Plumber Says:

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    That’s odd, because the Bible contains stories about Jesus casting out demons. In one instance he sends them into a herd of pigs, which run off into a lake and drown. I bet the owner was REALLY happy about that.

    As the Bible records, the locals were upset enough to tell Jesus to leave. Of the various lessons to be learned, one is how little concern they showed for the healed men – only the monetary value of the pigs was on their mind.

    IMHO, I think the demons thought they could control the pigs as they did the men. It was to their surprise that the pigs rebelled and chose suicide over possession – why would the demons waste their newly gained hosts?

  8. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Of the various lessons to be learned, one is how little concern they showed for the healed men – only the monetary value of the pigs was on their mind.”

    Yes, it’s nearly identical to the lack of concern shown by teabaggers who shouted down healthcare reform. Seems Jesus was swarmed by hardcore neocons in ancient Judea. Who knew the Republican Party had such a long history?

    All kidding aside, though, I think you’re weaving more into the narrative than is given. If there were pig farmers, the town was either non-Jewish, or populated by non-observant Jews. I did a quick re-read of the story and found no mention anywhere to support a lack of concern for the healed man. All three versions say the people pleaded for him to leave, but only one gives the reason why: because they were afraid. (Also, one version claims two men were possessed, instead of one. So much for biblical innerancy.)

  9. Scott Thong Says:

    Yes, it’s nearly identical to the lack of concern shown by teabaggers who shouted down healthcare reform.

    Oh, liberals and math/facts!

    Congressional Budget Office – repealing Obamacare saves 1.4 trillion over 10 years

    Congressional Budget Office – repealing Obamacare saves 695,000 jobs

    Governor Chris Christie’s budget address – states cannot reform bankrupt Medicaid because of Obamacare restrictions

    You want real affordable and fair health insurance? Kick out the government and let the private sector compete across state lines. It’s the difference between the ‘efficiency’ of the UPS and DMV and the innovation and affordability of cellphones:

    The reason nearly everyone in the universe has a cell phone is that President Reagan did to telephones the exact opposite of what the Democrats have just done with health care. Before Reagan came into office, we had one phone company, ridiculously expensive rates and one phone model. Reagan split up AT&T, deregulated phone service and gave America a competitive market in phones. The rest is history.

    ——————–

    Seems Jesus was swarmed by hardcore neocons in ancient Judea. Who knew the Republican Party had such a long history?

    Then Jesus was truly blessed they were not Liberals, because then He would have been killed long before the appointed time.

    Who is Violent – Left or Right? (109 Cases)

    ——————–

    I did a quick re-read of the story and found no mention anywhere to support a lack of concern for the healed man

    Did you find any concern for the healed man, then?

    ——————–

    (Also, one version claims two men were possessed, instead of one. So much for biblical innerancy.)

    It is a known fact that there are minor differences between the four Gospels. This actually adds to the genuineness and legitimacy of the Gospels, as it paints a picture of different eyewitnesses giving their personal recollections of the same event.

    If the four Gospels were entirely similar, then the accusation would that of conspiring to fabricate their story. What, don’t you think with all their Synods and Priory of Sionish meet ups, the early Christians wouldn’t have edited the Gospels to match perfectly? That they never did shows how importantly they valued honesty and truth.

    For the demon possessed men in question, perhaps Matthew (being one of the Twelve) remembered the details clearly, writing his Gospel like a diary. Whereas Mark and Luke were both writing what they heard from others, and for a general audience, thus chose to trim the minute details to focus on the main plot – that of healing possession.

    For a modern analogy, look at how two different blogs report on a localized event – say, the Egyptian protests. The minorly-interested American blogger would give the main gist of the news (people mad with Mubarak, protests, some damage to property), while the Egyptian blogger would add little tidbits about how Uncle Hasim’s hashish shop was burned to the ground. Does the American’s post contradict the Egyptian’s just because of the differing level of detail?

  10. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Oh, liberals and math/facts!”

    Oh, conservatives and math facts.

    Oh, liberals and math/facts!

    January 19, 2003

    Q: Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?

    Rumsfeld: Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that’s something under $50 billion for the cost.

    http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=1322

    Cost to date: $1.3 trillion

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933935.html

    “It is a known fact that there are minor differences between the four Gospels. This actually adds to the genuineness and legitimacy of the Gospels, as it paints a picture of different eyewitnesses giving their personal recollections of the same event.”

    Minor differences? These so-called eyewitnesses contradict each other on nearly every major event from the birth to the resurrection.

    Inerrant means precisely that: not liable to error.. period.

    “If the four Gospels were entirely similar, then the accusation would that of conspiring to fabricate their story. What, don’t you think with all their Synods and Priory of Sionish meet ups, the early Christians wouldn’t have edited the Gospels to match perfectly? That they never did shows how importantly they valued honesty and truth.”

    That’s one explanation. A more likely scenario is that by the time it was discovered that there were four different versions in circulation it was too late to do any major redacting; so they threw them all together and crossed their fingers hoping that no one would notice the discrepancies (not a far fetch, since few people could read in those days).

    “For the demon possessed men in question, perhaps Matthew (being one of the Twelve) remembered the details clearly, writing his Gospel like a diary. Whereas Mark and Luke were both writing what they heard from others, and for a general audience, thus chose to trim the minute details to focus on the main plot – that of healing possession.

    Minute details, you say? How hard is it to remember the number of demon-possessed men in the story? This is more that just the omission of a minute detail — the man was wearing a blue tunic — It represents a major screw-up about one of the basic facts central to the story.

    Imagine reading two newspaper accounts of what happened on September 11, 2001. One paper reports that both towers fell after being hit by hijacked planes, while another reports one tower fell after a terrorist strike. Would you buy my argument that the second paper was reporting for a general audience and chose to trim the minute details to focus on the main plot — that of a terrorist strike?

  11. Simon Thong Says:

    Joe the Plumber
    These so-called eyewitnesses contradict each other on nearly every major event from the birth to the resurrection.

    nearly every major event? I know that when you want to win an argument, you exaggerate things, so I’ll let it pass since, for you, WINNING is EVERYTHING, not getting at the truth.

    As for “A more likely scenario is that by the time it was discovered that there were four different versions in circulation it was too late to do any major redacting; so they threw them all together and crossed their fingers hoping that no one would notice the discrepancies (not a far fetch, since few people could read in those days)”, I’m surprised a ‘learned’ scholar of the New Testament sources like YOU limited yourself to only four different versions. More likely, things were left alone to allow the Word of God to speak for itself.

    Here are two versions of an incident. When I was 13, I went swimming at the deep end of a pool. A friend fell in. Asa he could not swim, I went to his help, only to be dragged under by him. Expecting to drown, I felt a terrible pain as my elder brother pulled me out by the hair, with that friend, clinging desperately to me, dragged out as well. “Stop playing at wrestling in the deep end,” Elder Brother admonished me, not aware that he had just saved our lives. The friend thought I was trying to make him swallow as much water as possible, and didn’t realize he had almost drowned. As he went off, he scolded me for making him drink so much water. Three people in one event, three different versions.

    Years later, at dinner, I thanked Elder Brother for saving my life. He was surprised as he had no idea what I was talking about. After I had related the incident, he said, “Can’t remember anything.”

  12. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “nearly every major event?”

    Pretty much … on the birth, trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension All you have to do is read them side-by-side to notice. You do read your Bible, don’t ya?

    “More likely, things were left alone to allow the Word of God to speak for itself.”

    OK then, but the first thing that comes to mind after reading that piffle is: what a load of bollocks!!

  13. Simon Thong Says:

    Ever read the Synoptic Gospels in parallel and discover how important the SLIGHT differences are for substantiating first-person accounts, and how little substantial difference there is?

    The resort to crude and emotional expressions meant to insult is the response of a desperate man.

  14. Simon Thong Says:

    What did you expect the Word of God to be? Uniformly and homogeneously perfect? The Word of God is expressed through human beings, so there is both slight imperfection and divine truth. God and Man.

  15. Joe the Plumber Says:

    I don’t expect anything, ’cause the bible isn’t the word of god, but the words of tribal men — superstitious men whose cultural attitudes condoned and promoted slavery, misogyny, xenophobia, and genocide. Their god is an anthropomorphic reflection of those attitudes.

  16. Simon Thong Says:

    How would the words of the New testament people be tribal? Use your brain instead of simply parroting 19th century philosophy.

  17. Scott Thong Says:

    Rumsfeld: Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that’s something under $50 billion for the cost.

    Cost to date: $1.3 trillion

    – Joe the Plumber

    Oo, nice chart-fu

    Oh and that means the Tea Partiers are the fiscally and job-market responsible ones here.

    Inerrant means precisely that: not liable to error.. period.

    Once again, a nonbeliever is trying to dictate what believers are supposed to believe. Jeeves, please throw it into the pile with God being able to do anything including two contradictory things at once, Christians needing to stone people, and blind faith. Good man.

    A more likely scenario is that by the time it was discovered that there were four different versions in circulation it was too late to do any major redacting; so they threw them all together and crossed their fingers hoping that no one would notice the discrepancies (not a far fetch, since few people could read in those days).

    Wait… So most people couldn’t read, except maybe the dictatorial church leaders who were in on the conspiracy of lies, yet the church couldn’t arbitrarily dictate what was and wasn’t genuine without being found out?

    Imagine reading two newspaper accounts of what happened on September 11, 2001. One paper reports that both towers fell after being hit by hijacked planes, while another reports one tower fell after a terrorist strike. Would you buy my argument that the second paper was reporting for a general audience and chose to trim the minute details to focus on the main plot — that of a terrorist strike?

    That’s a good comparison, but it still leaves wiggle room. How is 9/11 often described in brief today? “Terrorists destroyed the WTC, killing thousands.” If that’s the phrase passed on several times, the fiftieth person would still get the general idea – that terrorists killed lots of people in a place. Is this inaccurate just because it omits the details that the WTC consisted of two towers, the exact number of victims, and the method of the attack?

    The gospels didn’t aim to be a comprehensive report in the style of modern news media (though in all fairness, plenty of what passes for ‘reporting’ these days is full of slant, bias and outright fabrication). The gospels are meant to tell the story of Jesus and what He is like. John even admits that there are countless miracles that were not included, as they would be redundant in achieving the goal of touching the heart of the reader.

  18. Scott Thong Says:

    I don’t expect anything, ’cause the bible isn’t the word of god, but the words of tribal men — superstitious men whose cultural attitudes condoned and promoted slavery, misogyny, xenophobia, and genocide. Their god is an anthropomorphic reflection of those attitudes. – Joe the Plumber

    Will the enlightened society of the future look back at 2000-era liberal humanism and say, “How backward and reprehensible that culture was – for not accepting zoophilia, non-reproductive or abortion-practicing incest between consenting adults, polygamy, necrophilia with a priorly consenting person’s dead body, legalized and well monitored prostitution, voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia (for the good of the world!), and fourth-trimester abortion!”

    And if that seems far fetched, there are already those who are advocating the things I mention above!

    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/after-homosexuality-sexual-revolutionary-frank-kameny-moves-on-to-making-bestiality-normal/
    http://www.parentdish.com/2010/12/17/switzerland-debates-legalizing-incest/?ncid=txtlnkusbbab00000004
    https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/if-abortion-is-legal-so-should-killing-27-day-old-babies-be/
    Euthanizing children without their consent

    So tell me… Are you really as progressive and unbigoted as you think you are?

  19. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Oo, nice chart-fu”

    I don’t see where the article denies the cost of GWB’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. In fact, the link they provide states succinctly that the total cost to 2010 is $1.1 trillion.

    http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/117xx/doc11705/08-18-Update.pdf (Box 1-3, p.33 of report, p. 32 of pdf)

    Add another $171 billion for 2011 and the cost rises to $1.3 trillion… so far.

    “Oh and that means the Tea Partiers are the fiscally and job-market responsible ones here.”

    How is spending money on an unnecessary war which has thus far killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, sent 4900 American soldiers home in body bags and wounded 32,000 others fiscally responsible? Don’t you think that providing improved healthcare to US citizens who can’t afford it would have been the more ‘prudent’ and humane course of action?

    Which brings us right back to the lack of compassion shown by the teabaggers I mentioned earlier.

    “Is this inaccurate just because it omits the details that the WTC consisted of two towers, the exact number of victims, and the method of the attack?”

    As I mentioned in my previous post, misstating the number of demon-possessed men is not an omission of detail — it is a an error of fact.

  20. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Will the enlightened society of the future look back at 2000-era liberal humanism and say, “How backward and reprehensible that culture was – for not accepting zoophilia, non-reproductive or abortion-practicing incest between consenting adults, polygamy, necrophilia with a priorly consenting person’s dead body, legalized and well monitored prostitution, voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia (for the good of the world!), and fourth-trimester abortion!”

    An enlightened future society will and should scorn the narrow-mindedness of a culture which interferes in the sexual practices of consenting adults.

  21. Zack T Says:

    Keep it up, guys. =)

  22. Scott Thong Says:

    Add another $171 billion for 2011 and the cost rises to $1.3 trillion… so far.

    Exactly, $1.3 trillion so far. This is spread out over how many years?

    As that chart fu link puts it:

    No one will say that $709 billion is not a lot of money. But first, that was spread over eight years. … Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.

    How is spending money on an unnecessary war which has thus far killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, sent 4900 American soldiers home in body bags and wounded 32,000 others fiscally responsible? Don’t you think that providing improved healthcare to US citizens who can’t afford it would have been the more ‘prudent’ and humane course of action?

    First, how many Tea Parties have you seen that even mentioned the Iraq War, let alone focuses on it? Every coverage I’ve seen has them protesting on jobs, taxes, the economy and the deficit.

    Maybe you got them mixed up with the rabid anti-Iraq War protests a few years back… Though the much greater abundance of HITLER and KILL BUSH signs should have tipped you off to who was organizing/taking part those protests. No thanks to the MSM for their double standard of ‘objective’ reporting.

    Though Tea Partiers may seem to be composed primarily of Conservatives – the same people who are more likely to support Bush and the invasion of Iraq – this is by no means conclusive proof that they are one and the same. After all, 28% are Independent and 13% are Democratic.

    Even if they ARE the same exact people, it’s just a matter of scale and situation that spurs them to protest now – the invasion of Iraq was launched when anti-terrorism spirits were high, the economy was shuffling along, and the deficit was actually closing (the Bush tax cuts did that). 8 years on, the economy has been choking for the past year (despite, or more likely partly due to, the Stimulus), the deficit is at a record high, and spending is orders of magnitude more than the entirety of the invasion of Iraq.

    And on a related note, yes the cost of the invasion of Iraq was high, maybe even fiscally irresponsible. But morally, it should have been done long ago (and by the feckless UN) – even back in 2009, 750,000 nett lives were saved compared to not doing anything about Saddam and the child-killing sanctions.

    To paraphrase Ann Coulter, liberals are all for ousting Mubarak who is an ally, accepts Israel’s existence, opposes the extremist Muslims – where were they when Saddam had rape rooms, regularly arrested and executed citizens, and gassed the Kurds? (And while we’re on that point, why is Obama so quick to denounce American ally Mubarak, but dithers on protests against America-hating regimes in Iran and Libya? And for that matter, he was quicker to denounce Scott Walker than Mubarak or Gaddafi!)

    Which brings us right back to the lack of compassion shown by the teabaggers I mentioned earlier.

    It’s one thing to be called a violent teabagger. It’s another to be called a violent teabagger while you’re being assaulted. They’ve been comparing themselves to the Egyptians ousting Mubarak. Looks like they’re not too far off, given that they share the tendency to assault women with cameras. – Tabitha Hale

    I’ll bet that my one page colletion of leftist violent rhetoric and actual violence (including murder) has more examples of vulgarity and physical violence aimed at Tea Partiers than you could ever find of Tea Partiers aiming vulgarity and physical violence at others.

    To wit, Dozens of Tea Parties nationwide: 0 Arrested. One single leftist SEIU protest: 25 Arrested.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, misstating the number of demon-possessed men is not an omission of detail — it is a an error of fact.

    There are those who are of the opinion that the differences are not contradictory unless the accounts of Mark of Luke mentioned that ONLY one man was possessed. One is a subset of two as it were. As I mentioned, each Gospel writer simply wrote according to his best knowledge about a well known event – the exorcism by Jesus of the Legion.

    But that is beside the point. As I mentioned before, the Bible isn’t and doesn’t aim to be a news report. It doesn’t really matter whether one man or two were at the Gerasenes or Gadarenes. It doesn’t matter if the number of the members of Israel’s tribes is off by a thousand plus. It doesn’t matter if the earliest manuscripts don’t have the ‘whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone’ event.

    No statement of faith, doctrine or basic Christian belief rests on these passages. I doubt that even one person renounced Christianity over any of these ‘errors’ as opposed to disagreement with the basic tenets, personal feelings, or poor experiences with churches and believers.

    And to snark, at worst the Bible is inadvertently in error over minor facts. It’s not like it purposely tries to give a distorted narrative, make untrue accusations, and distort like the liberal ‘news’ networks.

    An enlightened future society will and should scorn the narrow-mindedness of a culture which interferes in the sexual practices of consenting adults.

    So, do you personally support consenting incest, necrophilia and polygamy? If not, why the bigotry?

    I left out bestiality there, but what’s wrong with raping animals really? We do all sorts of worse things to them against their will.

  23. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “Exactly, $1.3 trillion so far. This is spread out over how many years?”

    What difference does it make? The point is that Rumsfeld claimed it would cost less than $50 billion, yet it’s cost well over 15 times that amount for Iraq alone, and there’s still no end in sight. Not to mention that Osama is still on the loose, al-Qaida hasn’t been defeated, and Iraq is anything but a stable democracy almost eight years after Bush uttered “Mission Accomplished.”

    “First, how many Tea Parties have you seen that even mentioned the Iraq War, let alone focuses on it?”

    Well yeah, that’s the inherent duplicity I’m getting at. Teabaggers seem to have no qualms when the government spends money killing innocent people in foreign countries, but are all up in arms when it comes to helping people right on their home turf.

    “And on a related note, yes the cost of the invasion of Iraq was high, maybe even fiscally irresponsible. But morally, it should have been done long ago (and by the feckless UN) – even back in 2009, 750,000 nett lives were saved compared to not doing anything about Saddam and the child-killing sanctions. […]”

    May I remind you that it was Rumsfeld himself who negotiated the diplomatic policy with Iraq which included weapons exports during the Reagan/Bush administration while turning a blind eye to Sadam’s ethnic cleansing programs.

    To wit, Dozens of Tea Parties nationwide: 0 Arrested. One single leftist SEIU protest: 25 Arrested.

    Your statement reminds me of a scene from the movie Stripes:

    Recruiting Sarge: “Have you ever been convicted of any crimes?”

    Bill Murray: “Convicted?” –pause–. “No, no”

    Just because there are no arrests, doesn’t mean there’s no violence. Case in point:

    “As I mentioned before, the Bible isn’t and doesn’t aim to be a news report.”

    That’s funny, because the word “gospel’ literally means “good news.” And the author of Luke claims to have closely investigated the facts he has received right in the opening chapter.

    “It doesn’t really matter whether one man or two were at the Gerasenes or Gadarenes. It doesn’t matter if the number of the members of Israel’s tribes is off by a thousand plus. It doesn’t matter if the earliest manuscripts don’t have the ‘whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone’ event. [..] at worst the Bible is inadvertently in error over minor facts.”

    I seriously doubt that you’d dismiss the errors and contradictions contained in other religious texts — or any other historical text for that matter — with the same leniency you dismiss those found in the Bible. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    “It’s not like it purposely tries to give a distorted narrative…”

    And you know this how?

  24. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “So, do you personally support consenting incest, necrophilia and polygamy? If not, why the bigotry?

    I left out bestiality there, but what’s wrong with raping animals really? We do all sorts of worse things to them against their will.”

    There is no such thing as consenting necrophilia, because dead people are incapable of granting consent. Ditto for bestiality. And as a vegetarian, I think carnivores who denounce bestiality are hypocrites.

    And what’s wrong with polygamy (other than the headaches)? Didn’t most of the biblical patriarchs have several wives and/or concubines?

  25. Zack T Says:

    “As I mentioned before, the Bible isn’t and doesn’t aim to be a news report.”

    That’s funny, because the word “gospel’ literally means “good news.” And the author of Luke claims to have closely investigated the facts he has received right in the opening chapter. ~Joe the Plumber

    Wife: “Hey, honey! I have good news!!”
    Joe: “Ok. Give me the whole report.”
    Wife: “I’m pregnant!”
    Joe: “That’s not a news report. Silly woman.”

  26. Simon Thong Says:

    Father: I heard you had a test today.
    Daughter: Yea.
    Father: Did you pass?
    Daughter: Yea.
    Father: That’s good news! Why are you crying?
    Daughter: It was a pregnancy test.
    Father: That’s bad news.

    Joe, if you have to play around with words just to win an argument, learn a bit more about language usage.

  27. Joe the Plumber Says:

    The word ‘good’ derives from the word ‘god’ (which has a pagan origin).

    God News (Mathew): There were two demon-possessed men.

    God News (Mark): There was one demon-possessed man.

    God News (Luke): There was one demon-possessed man.

    God News (John): No mention of any demon-possessed men.

    Conclusion: since God News Inc. publishes conflicting reports, it is an unreliable news source.

  28. Simon Thong Says:

    Zack T – “As I mentioned before, the Bible isn’t and doesn’t aim to be a news report.”

    Which side track did you go down, Joe? Good? Haha. Zack was talking about the news part.

    Give citation for equating good and god.

  29. Zack T Says:

    Simon,

    that wasn’t said by me. it was Scott who made that point.
    Joe in his desperate attempt to sound valid then claims ‘gospel’ which means ‘good news’ thus means it is supposed to be a news report.

    His latest comment still doesn’t solve the issue that this was not supposed to be news reports…

  30. Simon Thong Says:

    He’s gone down another side track: The word ‘good’ derives from the word ‘god’ (which has a pagan origin). He would be right. The English language has pagan, non-pagan, Christian, Malay (amok), Chinese (taiko, tai fun), etc..roots. So what? That’s neither here nor there. Many words and many things do have a pagan origin. That was the world then, and even now.

    More interesting is the NT Greek, euangelion, translated as good news, or glad tidings, to describe the story of the saving acts of God, centered upon the person of Jesus and his atoning work on the cross and resurrection from the dead. NT Greek words, too, often have pagan origins. Again, so what?

    But he’s still harping on news reports, poor fellow. Can’t figure out that the Four Gospels are theological documents that testify to God’s saving work in Jesus Christ in human history. They are teaching and history, theology and life.

    He can’t seem to understand that there will be different emphases. Maybe he should think about his own claim some time back in another post: that God could learn from him about being a father, that he has brought up obedient children. That’s Joe’s story. I wonder what his wife’s story would be. Or his children’s? Sociologists go by the dictum, SEZ WHO? Put the 4 stories together and viola! there is a common core but four variations. The 4 stories are close enough to be of the same Joe-the-Plumber-family but different enough not to have all been concocted by Joe the headman in the family and force-fed to the others.

    If he can understand that, he may understand why the Gospels are different enough to be authentic but close enough to be about the same Jesus Christ. And not news reports.🙂

  31. Zack T Says:

    Maybe he should think about his own claim some time back in another post: that God could learn from him about being a father, that he has brought up obedient children. That’s Joe’s story. I wonder what his wife’s story would be. Or his children’s? ~Simon

    Hmmm… indeed it is a wonder.

    If Joe says that HE has successfully raised his children.. and then his wife said that THEY both successfully raised their children… and then their children said that they matured well with their parents guidance… and then relatives said that the children are good kids..
    Since they’re all different and yet talking about the same topic, then by Joe’s logic, his children never actually grew up? Or even existed?

    Just a thought.

  32. Simon Thong Says:

    I suppose he will pick on the fact that the 4 ‘news reports’ have different number of chapters
    Matthew: 28
    Mark: 16
    Luke: 24
    John: 21
    Or why not count the number of times A and a appear? And criticize the different number of A and a as not befitting ‘news reports’?

    All side tracks. Each leading to a cul-de-sac, a dead-end. Nit picking.

  33. Simon Thong Says:

    More likely, given his trend of thought, since all sources say different things, NOT RELIABLE NEWS.

    Conclusion: since Joe the Plumber Inc. publishes conflicting reports, it is an unreliable news source.

  34. Joe the Plumber Says:

    “If Joe says that HE has successfully raised his CHILDREN.. and then his wife said that THEY both successfully raised their CHILDREN… and then their CHILDREN said that THEY matured well with their parents guidance… and then relatives said that the CHILDREN are good KIDS.”

    Notice how despite the differences in perspective all those accounts agree on the basic fact that there is more than just one child involved? To argue that the individual authors were simply omitting the details sounds absurd. If I invited guests to a family BBQ with both my children were present, it would be strange if two guests later reported “I had dinner with Joe and his kid last night,” while the third says “I had dinner with Joe and his two kids.”

    And the claim that two of the authors “chose to trim the minute details to focus on the main plot – that of healing possession” doesn’t mesh either. If Mark didn’t think it important enough to mention the second man, why would he deem it necessary to enumerate the number of pigs in the herd?

  35. Zack T Says:

    Notice how despite the differences in perspective all those accounts agree on the basic fact that there is more than just one child involved? ~Joe the Plumber

    Hahaha. Yes, sir! You are correct. The main subject is still the same, the CHILDREN grew up well. But what was the difference between the different testimonies? One said ONE parent did well, another TWO parents, another the CHILDREN themselves did well.

    Same with the gospels. One said one demon-possessed man, another two.
    But what’s the basic fact that remain? That Jesus Christ healed demon-possessed people, regardless of how many of them.
    Thank you for agreeing that the gospels are still true despite the differing testimonies. =)

  36. Joe the Plumber Says:

    Congratulations Zack! You burned that straw man right to the ground.

    However you left the question of biblical inerrancy — the topic actually under consideration — completely unaddressed.

  37. Simon Thong Says:

    What biblical inerrancy are you talking about? God did not sit a man down and say, “Write this down, word for word…” Men, different men, told others of their experiences of Jesus Christ, emphasizing some details, ignoring others. Their common theme: Jesus Christ has come to save the world from sin.

  38. Joe the Plumber Says:

    If the authors can’t event get the pertinent facts straight (one man or two) what grounds is their to believe the rest of their testimony is accurate?

  39. Zack T Says:

    And thus,the giant stumbles backwards and seeks another means to attack.

    Does biblical inerrancy mean “the bible is without error in its record or writing”?
    No,and certainly no biblical teacher or preacher would teach/preach that. But they do teach/preach that our biblical doctrines are inerrant; meaning our doctrines that make us Christians can be extracted from the bible are without error.
    E.g. Jesus has authority over all including demons. No error with that teaching.
    Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross and resurrected on the third day after he died. No error in that teaching and is emphasized in all four gospels.

    So, we do have biblical inerrancy, just not what you want or demand it to be.

  40. Joe the Plumber Says:

    Quote:

    Scripture is not the product of its writers’ own thinking. On the contrary, “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The word “moved” in the original Greek means “borne” or “brought.” Peter stated that the Holy Spirit, in essence, picked up the writers (the prophets) and “brought” them to the goal of His choosing. Thus, the Scriptures, although written by means of human instrumentality, were so superintended by God that the resulting words are His.

    http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/416

  41. Zack T Says:

    Let’s quote things in context, Joe.

    Quote (the paragraph itself):

    The apostle further explained that the Scriptures (the prophetic word) were not of “any private interpretation,” meaning that they did not originate on their own, or in the minds of those who wrote them. Scripture did not come from “the will of man.” It is not the end result of human research or human investigation into the nature of things. Scripture is not the product of its writers’ own thinking. On the contrary, “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The word “moved” in the original Greek means “borne” or “brought.” Peter stated that the Holy Spirit, in essence, picked up the writers (the prophets) and “brought” them to the goal of His choosing. Thus, the Scriptures, although written by means of human instrumentality, were so superintended by God that the resulting words are His.

    How about we quote 2 Peter 1:21, the whole sentence?

    [NIV 1984] For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    [ESV] For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    [KJV] For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Prophecy is inerrant. Which part of either 1 or 2 demon-possessed men being healed [past tense] by Jesus is considered prophetic?

  42. Ron Says:

    DEFINING INSPIRATION

    Not only does the Bible claim to be inspired, but it also defines and describes what it means by inspiration. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul claimed, “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God.”

  43. Zack T Says:

    Still from the same source,

    The apostle further explained that the Scriptures (the prophetic word) were not of “any private interpretation,” meaning that they did not originate on their own, or in the minds of those who wrote them.”

  44. Ron Says:

    Quote:

    In light of the fact that Jesus and the Bible writers viewed the words of Scripture as being inspired (and thus truthful), even down to the very tense of a verb and number of a noun, so should all Christians. Truly, as the psalmist of long ago wrote: “The sum of thy word is truth; and every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160, ASV, emp. added). Or, as the passage is translated in the NKJV: “The entirety of Your word is truth.” It is all true, and it is all from God. It is accurate in all its parts. The whole of the Bible is of divine origin, and therefore is reliable and trustworthy. Yes, God used human beings to write the Bible, and in so doing, allowed them to leave their imprint upon it (e.g., type of language used, fears expressed, prayers offered, interests, educational influences, etc.). But, they wrote without making any of the usual mistakes that human writers are prone to make under normal circumstances. God made certain that the words produced by the human writers He inspired were free from the errors and mistakes characteristic of uninspired writers. In reality, hundreds of Bible passages encourage God’s people to trust the Scriptures completely, but no text encourages any doubt of, or even slight mistrust in, Scripture. To rely on the inerrancy of every historical detail affirmed in Scripture is to follow the teaching and practice of the biblical authors themselves.

  45. Zack T Says:

    “Or, as the passage is translated in the NKJV: “The entirety of Your word is truth.” It is all true, and it is all from God.”

    The entirety… the Word as a whole is true.
    And thus, if put to court, these testimonies won’t get rejected for the charge you put forth.
    It’s not a contradiction that either one or two demon-possessed persons were healed by Jesus.
    It is if it was written, either these was a demon-possessed person or two but were not healed by Jesus… or there was no demon-possessed person in the first place.

    Whether the witnesses remembered one or two people who were demon-possessed or not, it speaks nothing about prophecy, does it?
    This isn’t a passage of prophecy where people will use it to say, “You will face only one or two demon-possessed people during your walk!” or “You must face one or two demon-possessed people during your mission and life.”
    The prophecy, if you insists, is that Jesus heals! Regardless of how many demon-possessed people.

  46. Zack T Says:

    Quote:

    BIBLICAL INERRANCY AND ITS ENEMIES

    One question that a seemingly growing number of individuals in recent times have asked, is whether or not every word of Scripture is “inspired truth?” Infidels, atheists, and skeptics have long ridiculed the idea of biblical inerrancy. That is, they do not believe the Bible (whether in its original or current state) to be free from error or untruths. [NOTE: The word “errant” derives from the Latin infinitive errare, meaning “to wander,” while the prefix in negates the word. Therefore, to purport biblical inerrancy is to affirm that the Scriptures adhere to the truth, rather than departing, or “wandering” from it (see Preus, 1984, pp. 91-93; Packer, 1958, p. 95).]

  47. Ron Says:

    If you have problems with their summary take it up on their website.

    Fact remains: they insist every word was breathed by your god.

  48. Zack T Says:

    I shall take your suggestion to consideration if I do have any problems with their summary.
    But for now, I will continue to “take it up” with your interpretation of their summary.

    Quote:
    WHAT WAS THE VIEW OF JESUS AND THE BIBLE WRITERS TOWARD SCRIPTURE?

    Perhaps of most significance is the fact that neither Jesus nor any Bible writer ever called into question a single passage of Scripture. Jesus and the writers of Scripture believed in the truthfulness and historical reliability of even the most disputed parts of the Old Testament.

  49. Ron Says:

    There’s nothing to interpret. They state that EVERY WORD, right down to the very tense of a verb and number of a noun is inspired from above.

    So until you can explain how one man = two men is possible and accurate from a divinely-inspired source, your phucked.

  50. Simon Thong Says:

    Ron – They state that EVERY WORD, right down to the very tense of a verb and number of a noun is inspired from above.

    That is not my view of biblical inerrancy.

    You choose to challenge this view, but I don’t hold this view, so you are tilting at windmills.

    I think Zack T has explained that these were not news reports in his replies to Joe the Plumber, so I suggest that you read those.

  51. Zack T Says:

    There’s nothing to interpret. They state that EVERY WORD, right down to the very tense of a verb and number of a noun is inspired from above.

    So until you can explain how one man = two men is possible and accurate from a divinely-inspired source, your phucked. ~Ron

    Haha. You wish to view their meaning as such, so be it.

    That’s not my understanding of those verses, and I have done what I can to explain my understanding of those verses and what that site said.
    Even the site itself doesn’t hold the same view as you claim they do.

    So, like Simon… Since I [or even the site] don’t hold to that kind of understanding, there’s no need for me to explain how one man = two men is possible or accurate.

    Best of luck, Ron. Good to see you back. Been wondering where you went off to. =)

  52. Ron Says:

    “So, like Simon… Since I [or even the site] don’t hold to that kind of understanding, there’s no need for me to explain how one man = two men is possible or accurate.”

    Now Zack, that’s not what the good book says:

    “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, “[1 Peter 3]

    “Been wondering where you went off to”

    Personal responsibilities sometimes interfere with my joy of pestering Christian bloggers.

  53. Ron Says:

    Simon,

    I thought all believers were unified in the body of Christ.

    Care to elaborate on what other statements of faith you disagree with?

    http://www.apologeticspress.org/AboutAP.aspx

  54. Ron Says:

    @Joe the Plumber

    Good job — the best defense is a good offense; don’t let them move the goalposts during the argument.🙂

  55. Scott Thong Says:

    @Joe the Plumber

    Good job

    Eh… Schizo much, fella?
    😐

  56. Zack T Says:

    Now Zack, that’s not what the good book says:

    “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, “[1 Peter 3] ~Ron

    hahaa. Thanks for quoting scripture.
    But I did commit to this verse. I did give an answer to the hope that I have.
    I don’t hold to your view, so no need to defend what I don’t have. =)

    @Joe the Plumber

    Good job — the best defense is a good offense; don’t let them move the goalposts during the argument. ~Ron

    Good advice… if only you follow it yourself. haha

  57. Simon Thong Says:

    You thought all believers were unified in the faith. But does it mean homogeneous, uniform, unerringly similar? haha, that’s an assumptionnthat errs on the edge of nincompoop-ness. See how presumptious you are, and how you need to be open?

  58. Simon Thong Says:

    old Ron doesn’t even use goalposts..all he has are words that slip and slide as he sees fit. To win is Ron, to learn, never.

  59. Simon Thong Says:

    Ron – Care to elaborate on what other statements of faith you disagree with?

    http://www.apologeticspress.org/AboutAP.aspx

    Those represent one large bloc of the Christian faith; I agree with some and not others. No time to elaborate now but just one point may be interesting to you: the earth is not young but very old; and while I know that there is evolution, it is scientific evolution and not the theory/philosophy that hypothizes the evolution from one single cell to the complexity that man is. I am not a creationist either.

  60. Ron Says:

    “You thought all believers were unified in the faith. But does it mean homogeneous, uniform, unerringly similar?”

    Well, if believers are all ‘guided’ by the same ‘holy spirit’ that’s what one would expect, no? If even the meaning of ‘biblical inerrency’ is open to personal interpretation, then what hope is there in discovering the real truth?

    You say I have no goalposts, but in reality, the atheist’s goalposts are firmly planted and always in sight. To score a goal, theists need only drive in the ball called evidence — a ball they (for some strange reason) refuse to bring out onto the playing field.

  61. Simon Thong Says:

    Ron – Well, if believers are all ‘guided’ by the same ‘holy spirit’ that’s what one would expect, no? If even the meaning of ‘biblical inerrency’ is open to personal interpretation, then what hope is there in discovering the real truth?

    But that’s the beauty of it, that there is unity and diversity, unity-in-diversity and diversity-in-unity; something you cannot fathom.

    As for evidence, there exists none acceptable for atheists like you, who keep asking for evidence but can’t even fathom it when it’s put to you. No spiritual eyes. You must be born again to have spiritual eyes. It’s like asking for a soccer ball when we offer you a spiritual ball, spiritual truths and not physical truths.

  62. Scott Thong Says:

    Soooooo…

    Wonder what happened to good old Joe…

  63. Simon Thong Says:

    MP steps in to resolve novel issue at school
    thestar.com.my
    KUALA LUMPUR: Hulu Selangor MP P. Kamalanathan will be meeting parents and the management of SMK Kuala Kubu Baru on Friday over a controversy that broke out at the school in connection with the Interlok issue.

  64. Ron Says:

    “But that’s the beauty of it, that there is unity and diversity, unity-in-diversity and diversity-in-unity; something you cannot fathom.”

    Sounds like the slogan for the Bahá’í Faith… but I doubt you’re beliefs are encompass all faiths, even in Christendom..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_in_diversity

    “As for evidence, there exists none acceptable for atheists like you, who keep asking for evidence but can’t even fathom it when it’s put to you. No spiritual eyes. You must be born again to have spiritual eyes. It’s like asking for a soccer ball when we offer you a spiritual ball, spiritual truths and not physical truths.”

    Translation: you must believe before you are convinced. An argument theists apply only when it comes to their own religion. For everything else — including other religious beliefs — they demand to see the evidence first, just like the atheist.

  65. Simon Thong Says:

    Nope, purely within Christendom.

    As for your words, “you must believe before you are convinced”, also NOPE. The accurate translation: you must allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your soul, your heart…

  66. Ron Says:

    Which requires belief in a soul and ‘holy spirit’ beforehand: the very things in question.

  67. Simon Thong Says:

    Nope, wrong AGAIN. No need to believe, just respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

    How many times can a man be wrong, Ron? As many times as he wants to be, as long as he is right that ONE TIME when the Holy Spirit speaks to his soul (even if he denies that he has one).

  68. Ron Says:

    Native Americans claim that animal spirits enter into their bodies at birth and guide them too.

    http://www.phoenixarises.com/spirits/index.html

    Do you deny the validity of their experiences?

    If so, then you’ll understand why I don’t accept your claims either.

  69. Simon Thong Says:

    I don’t deny the validity of their claim; among some Asians, a spirit-god enters them after their parents dedicate them to the said deity. When they convert to Christianity as adults, among the most important first steps is a request for the deity to leave, failing which there is expulsion in the name of Jesus Christ.

  70. Ron Says:

    Just for clarification, do you believe that these Asian deities and spirits actually exist in addition to the Christian god and holy spirit, or that they are demonic entities?

  71. Simon Thong Says:

    Do they actually exist? Yes. What are they? Hard to say.

    Suppose you don’t believe that they are real, so what? It doesn’t matter to such people or to me.

    A sociological dictum, the thomas Theorem, states
    “When people define a situation to be real, it is real in its consequences.” (W.I. Thomas)

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