Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some Answers: Hebrew Tense and More

Some answers to Keith and Matt @ The Meltdown Continues:

I won't make time to systematically respond to each thing said, nor do I even know what all is said, nor will I make time to find out.  A few things:

First to Matt:  A lot of what you've said is what is irrelevant or nonsensical in regards to anything I said about anything.  I'm not sure what point you were trying to make when referring to chronology, for example.  You did not specify.  Concerning tense, Hebrew verbs do not hold tense when they stand alone, but it ought to be understood that a person should be able to determine the proper tense by the surrounding context in which the verb is placed.   I'm not even sure why you'd want to make that argument for Hosea 11:1-2.  Not only should it be clear that the verb ("called") should be in the past tense, it's abundantly clear from the context that it's got nothing to do with a messiah, nor anyone called Jesus.  Furthermore, the tense of the verb is not the only thing Matthew changed.  It was the nation of Israel that was Hosea's subject matter.  The text reads:

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images (KJV).

Surely you're not saying that Hosea was talking about Israel being called out of Egypt in a future time from when he spoke and that they would sacrifice unto Baalim in the future.  The translators put it in the past tense, because it was in the past that Israel had supposedly been servants to Egypt and when their god had supposedly brought them out of their bondage. 
So again, it has nothing to do with Jesus being called out of Egypt (in Hosea's future).  It's talking about Israel and the past.  Furthermore, as they were called, the people of Israel went from the people of  Egypt and sacrificed to Baalim and burned incense to images.  Matthew or whoever wrote that gospel conveniently left all that out, and this isn't the only so-called "prophecy" with which he pulled this stunt. 

Your attempt to discredit what I was saying by going off track and making a big deal about Hebrew tense (as the verb stands alone) is dishonest to your readers, and so once again it's an attempt to cast a bad light on me.  Hopefully whoever is reading, though, is "proving all things" and actually looking at these verses and doing their research themselves, rather than just getting carried away by what you're saying.  Surely anyone who is honestly giving it any meditation is going to realize how shoddy the "tense" argument is, for if it was such a problem we could easily make the old testament say anything we want and mix it up in any chronological order.  Maybe the story of Noah's ark is really meant as a future prophecy, that God will, in the future, tell a man named Noah to build a boat.  Maybe it will happen after nanotechnology allows a person to live several hundred years of age.  You see what a mess that would be, if we can just make up our own chronology by ignoring that we should be able to determine tense by context?

Matt, I do not know how old you are, but the times you've emailed me in the past, you've seemed to be a perfectly decent character.  I don't really know you, though.  I just ask that you tread carefully.  Don't waste your life away defending something that the evidence is against.

Now to Keith:
You said you weren't intending to attack my personal character and that you do not believe I'm different in my moral character and as a wife, mother, etc.  But is that not what you immediately insinuated when you first discovered my apostasy?  Did you not immediately email me with a message that you were SHOCKED (understandable) and then say that you hoped I would not do anything to your site, blog, etc. since I know your passwords?  That was offensive to me.  I'm not trustworthy because the bible tells me so.  I'm trustworthy, because that's just who I am and who I want to be.  I've got the ability to form long-lasting and deep friendships and other social bonds because of my honesty and trustworthiness.  I can live guilt-free, so therefore I can be happy with myself, too, in addition to living happily in my relationships with others.  Furthermore, concerning access to your various accounts, I offered, in reply, to walk you through step-by-step how to change your passwords so that you could rest easy, even though I have no intention of logging into your accounts.

Perhaps I took it too harshly, but I will honestly say I found it quite appalling.  I then immediately wondered if that is the kind of thing you would have done, if it was turned the other way.  It seemed you were using your own mindset to judge mine.  I'm not sure what you would do in that situation, or not, but I will say that the other person who hardcore rejected me as a friend along with you really did a similar thing years ago.  We ran a website community together with equal administration duties.  Her short temper fused toward me, and she deleted everyone's content, including things that were dearly important to me (namely an entire pregnancy journal that I hadn't saved elsewhere).  Although that hurt, I forgave her.  I easily forgive others.  We've all done stupid or ugly things.  There are plenty of non-trustworthy Christians.  My being a Christian or not shouldn't determine my trustworthiness. 

There are times in the past where I've become extremely irritated with you, but every time I've overlooked it.  I still loved you, and I went to special measures to prevent frustration. One of those things I already mentioned, namely unsubbing from your blog at a time in the past, because there were too many health-based commentaries you made that drove me up the wall, because it was in error or something else.  In time I decided to subscribe again, because I felt that I could manage to delete the ones I wanted from the get-go and only open the ones I thought were worth reading.  And it was working quite well.  I also had my reasons to stop reading so much on your website.  Of course it wasn't just your website.  I have avoided all COG ministers' articles and sermons.  Some of the things I listened to when attending UCG drove me up the wall, especially knowing that most listeners just soak it up unquestionably.  I've never seen anything good come from that.  Quite the contrary.  It's easy, when you see one person teach a lot of things that seem to make good sense, to start idolizing and putting to much trust in that person.  Then the person becomes proud and thinks too highly of himself.  I have concluded that some men do not even realize it.  They do not even see it in themselves. 

And just about all of us who have been a part of a COG mindset have thought of ourselves as too special.  Oh, that God actually chose us out of everyone, that he called and chose us.  And look at all those blind ones around us.  We've got the truth, and they don't.  Breaking away from that has only made me a better person.  I no longer think I'm doing better theologically than my family and friends who do not believe that way.  And poisonous relations cut me off.  I didn't have to sit down and analyze who was not a good friend.  They made the decisions.  It opened my eyes all the more to how cultish and toxic and unforgiving and hateful the fruit of the bible is.  The ones unharmed and uninfluenced, or mildly so, are the ones who are good people, no matter what.  One person told me I was the truest friend she'd ever had, but in the same breath told me she couldn't dare associate with me, anymore, that she needed "Godly women" as friends.  Well, she needs "godly" something, because she sure didn't treat me so, unless the "godly" she meant was the likeness of an evil god.  I would have stood by her side the remaining years of her life, just as I have been doing, just the same.  I would have lovingly encouraged her and been there for her.  I would have been true to the end.  But that wasn't good enough, apparently.  Without the "Christian" label, without the "belief," I'm as good as the shit in her commode.  I wonder whether the Christian-label friends she will try to find will ever be as true as I still would have been to her.  I wonder whether they will be as good an influence to her.  I've got enough experience and observation to know that the Christian label won't be a determining factor.  I was hurt by the cruelty I incurred.  And STILL (maybe I'm stupid) I would forgive her if she came to me.  And STILL I would be her true friend.  Because that's who I am.  In the meantime, I do still have friends who love me.  They don't all agree with me, but they love me all the same.  And that is truly more worthy than anyone who judges based on religious beliefs.

Also, I thought I'd explained how it worked to you in the past, but perhaps I'm mistaken:  You cannot judge by "hits" or "page views" or "visits" how many people are reading your articles daily.  Every file that downloads on a page counts as a hit.  One unique visitor can count as several hits on just one page, depending on how many images and other files, in addition to the html file itself, is on the page.  I can't remember for certain whether I said something to you in the past or not, but I do know that you publicly stated numbers before, and I saw your stats myself in your file manager, and you were not going by unique visitors.  According to the following site (Stat Brain, if I remember correctly), it's estimated that your site gets around 984 unique visitors a month (average of 33/day).  Not 1,400+ daily.  Then you've got to take into account there are many who land on a page, and it's not what they're looking for, or it may be one of the many books of others you've scanned to your site, rather than any theological article.   The majority of the 900+ average visitors each month are not there because they're wanting to stay there and read something. estimates the average visitor to your site spends 3 minutes and 28 seconds.   Undoubtedly there are a few that are spending hours, so the majority are spending mere seconds, after realizing that's not where they want to be.

As I believe Nathan already said, I'd be more than willing to enter into friendly discussion about why we've been led (separately, for the most part) to our current stance.  I already know of your writings and what you believe.  I already know what I believed before.  It's not for a "lack of foundation" or anything of that sort.  If Nathan is willing, I'd be willing to hook up to Skype with you both. 

I would think that a true friend would actually want to know everything that led me to where I am.  The only friend who did want to investigate herself has come to the same conclusions.  Perhaps that is the very reason why some, ironically, do not want to investigate.  They don't want to lose their faith.  But I have always valued evidence, where ever it leads me.  I've always said if I saw enough evidence against the bible, I would reject it.  The day just happened to arrive.  It was only a matter of time, though.  I would have seen it in time, regardless. 

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