Sunday, October 18, 2009

Decon: 1 - Not Monotheistic - Yahweh vs Elohim

What is the fastest way to get someone to lose their faith. Simple, break up the foundation.
I have heard tons and tons and tons of atheists trying to argue why the flood did not happen, or how genesis is wrong. The problem is that they can fight these all day long, the issue is that to an atheist this might seem like the foundation, but it is not. These stories are built ON THE FOUNDATION.

Remember, our job is not to convert them to atheism or nullism, it is to help them during their deconversion from their faith.

Todays lesson: Decon: 1 - Not Monothistic - Yahweh vs Elohim
One of the fundamental tenants of christian and Abrahamic religions is they are based on "one god". The reality is that the bible is not based on "one" god. Your job is to simply see that fact of the bible. In traditional arguing it is important to have every single on of your facts, locked down and tight with no room for movement.

In this case, we want slop or slack in our discussion. In fact, even having some small errors for them to fact check are important (remember, we want them to go to the bible and check out our passages). If you bring a photocopy of the section and read it to them word for word to prove your point, you actually are losing major points. now if you are arguing a scholar on stage, then that is different, but you should not be doing that. We are working on the front lines, with the everyday person on the street and church.

So why don't we want all the answers, perfectly and exactly. 1. We want to present them with enough information to create some doubt, 2) we don't give them all the facts because we want them to have doubts about the doubts, 3) we know people are lazy and won't bother to look up the facts we gave them so they will carry the doubts with them for the rest of their life and 4) best of all, when they do look up the facts they will see we were right all along, and they have been wrong all this time. Now feeling guilty about not looking this up earlier. Doubt and Guilt are powerful tools in the decons tool box.

===The lesson: Bible is not monotheistic===
Let's get ready to play with some minds. First the underlying premise is that the bible is monotheistic. This gives people a lot of power in their statements like "one nation under god", "in god we trust", "the trinity is one god", whatever.

What we are going to be doing is having a conversation with a person, not a debate. Forget debating. Let me repeat that, forget debating. Forget arguing your point.

The first thing we have to do is find something to say positive and take a position on their side. I would recommend you come from the position of integrity and not lie about your belief, but find a way to state something consistent.

Here is a sample conversation between a decon and Mary:
decon: Mary, did you know that the bible explicitly states there are multiple gods. As a matter of fact is says is many times and in many places throughout the bible. Even god in his own words explicitly declares that there are other gods.
Mary: yeah, but my pastor has told me that our god is the one TRUE god.
Decon: That's interesting, they did not say they were the only god. Have you ever thought why they said true god. Even if they said all the other gods were false gods, that does not deny the existence of those gods.
Now what if your pastor went further and said that there is NO OTHER GODS - period. Well then you better think about that pastor. Because they have just called their god a liar. And called him a liar directly to his face and in front of you as a witness. Think about that, your pastor called god a liar, that is right your pastor called god a liar. Not only did he do that, he knew that because it is clearly written by god. Why do you think your pastor would lie to you?
Mary: I don't know. What would make you say he lied? what proof is in the bible?
Decon: Well how about in genesis when god says to Adam that he will no longer be one of "us". did you catch that, god specifically said one of us. Remember, before adam there was nothing but God, unless you we going to consider the us meant animals, or dirt or something. I bet you don't think he meant that? remember in genesis, he had not created the spirit realm, he would have listed that as being created before the universe, but he specifically does not state that. So that means the adam is not someone from the angel or spiritual realm because that has not been created yet. I bet you don't think adam would be considered on of us as being from the earth, because god was still creating that. So I think is pretty clear just from that statement, that god says even in the beginning there were other gods. how many gods are in the 10 commandments?
Mary: Well that's silly. there is only one god!
Decon: are you sure? Before we go any further, do you think the 10 commandments were written by the hand of god and were given to Moses?
Mary: of course.
Decon: Just to confirm one more time, you absolutely think the 10 commandments were written and given to moses?
Mary: Yes, that is what I said.
Decon: Ok, I just wanted to ask you one question. Why did god explicitly state there were others gods in the very first commandment. Not only did god write this in his very own hand, he did not say that he is all alone and there were no other gods. He specifically did not say he was alone. God made a very strong point that he was not the only god. And he could have made that point absolutely clear and unambiguous with absolutely no certainty.
So you understand, in his very own hand, god said he is not alone. He is not the only god. He even further did not specifically deny the other gods, but said, that he should be considered in the number one position, with all the other gods behind him. His statement in the commandments, does not say there are no other gods, it only argues that how you should sort the other gods, and where he should be placed in that list. This is the second time god has specifically shown that there are other gods. Not other gods in general, or even fake, ficticious gods, but infact real gods. Because he said these other gods that exist just have to be behind him in the sorting order.
Yes, the commandments next talk about not worshipping idols and how that is not looked upon kindly. But look closely. You of course know the commandments are written down 3 different times with 3 slightly different versions. But EVERY SINGLE ONE of those versions DID NOT SAY that you should not worship other GODS. It said in each case, you should not worship idols. God was totally ok with worshiping other gods. No worshiping idols - that is stated clearly 3 times. But is absolutely clear about not taking away from worshiping his fellow gods.
Mary: yeah, but ....
Decon: Let me ask you this which god in the bible do you believe in? What is his name? There are multiple gods listed in the bible with significant differences. Remember, god is not a name it is a title. so is Lord and Christ, those are titles. When you want to talk about believing in a god you need to be specific.
The gods of the bible have many battles and disagreements. So before we go any further with this conversation you better get each of the gods straightened out. Yahweh, Elohim, El Shaddai. Even in things like Noah's flood, Elohim and Yahweh both say they caused Noah's flood. One god says it was 40 days, the other god says it was 150 days. As a matter of fact, both gods fight over the number of pairs of animals to be brought on board.
I don't ask you to believe me. Look it up yourself.

(now we end our conversation here)
You will note that we gave very little specifics her. Preferably little or no direct quotes from the bible. I was even hesitant to list what little I did in the above. We have one key objective here, to plant SEEDS of doubt. Not proof. It is absolutely critical that they begin going to the bible and having to read it themselves, not get spoon-fed answers from some other person. The bible is your ally.

Have fun with this, it is not a battle, but some fun interactions....



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