Thursday 10 February 2011

who answers? who answers?

Have you ever wondered about life's big questions?  I have.  Luckily for me, a leaflet was put through my door this week with information on where I could get the answers.

The Life's Big Questions Programme:

An 8 week programme that will give me all of the answers I have ever wanted.

Week 1: Introductions.  Why should I believe in a God I can't see? Why is the Bible special? (Bible Prophecy part 1)

Week 2: Has Science disproved the Bible? (part 1) Why is the Bible Special? (Law ahead of its time part 1)

Week 3: Why is the Bible special? (Archaeology) Has Science disproved the Bible? (part 2)

Week 4: Why is the Bible special? (Bible prophecy part 2) What is the World coming to?

Week 5: Why does God allow suffering? (part 1) What is the meaning of life? (part 1) [big week, presumably....]

Week 6: Why is the Bible special? (Law ahead of its time part 2)  Why does God allow suffering? (part 2)

Week 7: Why is the Bible special? (Bible prophecy part 3) What is the meaning of life? (part 2)

Week 8: Is there more to life than this? Has Christianity caused wars? Conclusion.

Tempting, no?  As if the programme of lectures itself wasn't enough, the flyer also contains a few more reasons to attend:

- See for yourself there are good reasons why we can trust the Bible
- Find out why the Bible is relevant in the 21st century
- Find out that there's more to life than you think
- You'll be able to make informed decisions about Life's Big Questions.


- What is the real meaning of your life
- What is the evidence that God exists
- Why God allows suffering
- That there is more to life than you might think
- There is a plan and purpose behind what goes on in the world
- That God is in control - see and hear the evidence for yourself
- Why the Bible is relevant in the 21st century.

It's all free, of course.  The Nottingham Christadelphians "want to show you good reasons why we believe in the Bible and want to share it with you.  We want to encourage you to look at the Bible for yourself."  You will not be asked to join the Christadelphians.

They're entitled to believe what they want, of course... and judging from their website, they are a group who base their faith entirely on the Bible:

"The Bible is God's word and the only message from him. It is without error, except for copying and translation errors."

Well, at least there's none of that wonderful Catholic get-out clause of "the word of the Pope is equal to the word of God" about that.  But "except for copying and translation errors"??  That's a pretty big get-out clause in its own right, isn't it?  How can you preach the Bible as a way to find all of the answers when you can't categorically tell me which bits are the word of God and which bits are the errors introduced through mistranslation?  How can you be confident enough to pick out God's message from the mistakes?  What about the contradictions between the different books?  Do Christadelphians eat shellfish?  (AN ABOMINATION - Leviticus 11:9-12) Or how about:

Any person who curseth his father or mother must be killed~Leviticus 20:9

Entrance into the assembly of the Lord was granted only to those with uninjured testicles and a complete penis ~Deuteronomy 23:1

People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God ~Leviticus 21:17-18

Where do Christadelphians stand on those particular pronouncements? Word of God or mistranslation?

What about the basic truth that the books that make up the Bible as we know it were chosen by the Church in 367AD, and that the process of what went in and what was left out was done by men.   As men, how could they possibly know that they didn't exclude crucial parts of God's message?

I realise that Faith takes, well, faith, but.... seriously? I know that lots of people can work with this level of uncertainty, but I definitely can't.  If you don't accept it all as valid, why would you accept any of it?  Far from providing me with answers, I'm just getting more and more questions.

Tuesday nights between 20:00 and 21:30?

Sorry.  I'm not sure you're asking the right questions, never mind providing the answers.  I'm afraid I'll be washing my hair.

Anyone else reminded of this?

"What was that?"
"I don't know, I was too busy talking to big nose"
".....I think it was "Blessed are the cheesemakers"."
"Aha, what's so special about the cheesemakers?"
"Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products...."

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