The language of Christianity versus the language of the christ
Charles Templeton's book, Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith is a work that details the author's derailing of his faith according to the book's posted description. In reviewing this book I found the following earth shaking paragraph by an individual who, in responding to another reviewer, left no hope for mankind or for themselves in their comment. Here is the review. I wanted to respond to Sam*** W****** below who posted among other things this charitable loving Christian line, "It is comforting for me to know that all atheists will spend their eternity in a lake "brimming with fire and brimstone!" Splendid! After dealing with years of abuse in an abusive church I have been contemplating leaving my faith. This was one book on my list that I was considering reading. I am also planning to read some Christian apologetics before making my decision. Yet, when I looked and saw Samuel gleefully gloating over human beings suffering eternal punishment as his sadistic "I told you so" one-up manship; I was reminded of why I left that place of pseudo love to begin with. Why should a loving God want such a hateful attitude in a perfect heaven? But I must thank you Samuel, you have reminded me why I left church to begin with - threats, intimidation, and fear do not co-exist with love. Torturing people for eternity with no redemptive or corrective purpose does not coexist with mercy and justice. I hope you don't die and find out we are judged on our attitudes and not our religious system. I'll do well to have nothing to do with this false humility, compassion, and love again. Farewell Christianity - guess I don't need this book afterall- Samuel made the authors case.
This is a dramatic portrayal of the language of Christianity and its effects. In Rob Bell's book Love Wins, he asks if one knows of any individual who has walked away from the christian church and had to deal with the worry of their spirituality. Bell explains that sometimes they may not be rejecting Jesus but rejecting the church's method and explanation of faith as the only possible interpretation of what it means to follow Jesus. They may be resisting behaviors, interpretations, and attitudes that should be rejected and Bell adds that Jesus may also have rejected them too.
When consideration is given to languages and the Bible the account most often recalled is the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter eleven. Verse one of that chapter says the whole earth had the same language and vocabulary and utilizing the power of unity they purposed to build a tower to God's househeaven. The Bible indicates God came down and noting that due to their unifying efforts nothing would be impossible for them so He confused their speech to put an end to their plans of invading His throne. As is true with all Bible study one must take into account the time period and the current understanding of cosmology which at that time believed the heavens were held in place above the earth by the mountainsso to their minds their task was obtainable.
There are similar accounts of the Tower of Babel in other ancient texts (Book of Jubilees, Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, Third Apocalypse of Baruch, Qur'an, and Kabbalah) of the peoples that existed during this period of time and is often used to explain the power of a single language and why we do not have a single language today. The ancient views of the purpose of the tower seem to indicate it was to advert another destruction by flood as a judgment from God. In other words, it was a place of safety to bypass the judgment of God.
Did God feel threatened by the power of the people? The Bible also seems to indicate a teleportation of sorts occurring in verse 8 which indicates God scattered the people from that area to over the face of the earth. It is also interesting to note a verse before the Genesis 11 account of the tower and confounding the languages found in Genesis 10:5 states as Noah's sons migrated after the flood and bore children their language was unique to each group therefore not the same as stated in Genesis 11.
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