Monday, May 17, 2010

254: Zombies!

Ezekiel 37-39
"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD. ' ' " - Ezekiel 37:4-6

The bible continually surprises me with it's level of insanity. I think today we've reached a new level. Yes, this is even worse than four headed angels with eyes all over them, this is zombies!

Chapter 37 starts with Ezekiel walking through a valley full of dry bones. God asks Ezekiel if these bones can live. Ezekiel says that only God knows. God apparently takes this as a challenge and tells Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones, and tell them to live. As Ezekiel watches, the bones grow tendons, muscles, and skin. There are now just a bunch of dead bodies laying in a valley instead of bones. God tells Ezekiel to prophecy that they will breathe. He does and the bodies come to life.

God does all of this as a metaphor for how he's going to bring Israel back to life. He's officially gone too far with his acting out of metaphors. He's now brought back an entire army of people to make a point to Ezekiel. This brings up a whole slew of questions. What's going to happen to these newly resurrected people? Do they have souls? Do they have the memories of when they were previously alive? Didn't God kill them for a reason the first time? Is he going to kill them again for the same reason? Do these random people get to go back to their families? Of course, these could be metaphorical people (even though the bible doesn't say that at all).

The rest of the chapter is another metaphor that must be acted out, and it's only a little less trippy. God tells Ezekiel to get a stick and write on it "Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him". Then God tells him to get another stick and write on it "Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him". Then Ezekiel is told to take the two sticks in his hand and fuse them together (I guess he has the power to do this himself, God offers no divine assistance). This is a metaphor for God fusing the two houses of Israel together. Of course, after God reunites the Israelites he thinks they will all worship him and get rid of their idols. God's optimism is getting tiring.

Chapter 38 and 39 are a big prophecy against Gog. God tells Gog that he is going to send them to invade Israel. But on the day they invade God says he is going to be furious and cause earthquakes throughout the land.

He then tells Ezekiel to prophecy against Gog and tell them that God will force the bow and arrow out of their hands and feed them to the animals of the land. This is another situation where it seems like God is mad at Gog for something he commanded them to do. If God sent them after Israel why is he mad when they get there?

Bill Henson can uniquely bring together evangelicals and homosexuals (or so he thinks) because he's "ex-gay".

Henson was apparently in a gay relationship for years until he found Jesus. He then decided that homosexuality was a sin and married a woman. I feel sorry for his wife.
"What I'm going for is ... without changing the church's policy, to create a safe place for gay people to experience a journey of discovering God in our midst," Henson said.
Unfortunately current church policy seems to be "shun the gay". After all, the bible does say that we should kill gay people. I don't understand how people reconcile God wanting to kill people just like them and an all loving God. Remember, it's not only the gays, but the adulterers, sabbath workers, etc. that God would have had killed in ancient Israel.

There's a small problem with this "ex-gay" minister:
In 2006, Henson gave up a marketing career to go into ministry full-time. Henson says he is "not 100 percent free of same-sex attractions" and does not expect other gays who turn to faith to end up in a straight marriage.
Wait, not free of same sex attractions? Then he's still gay! Not that I think any "ex-gay" people are really free of same sex attractions, because I don't think it can be reversed. After all, being gay is not a disorder that needs to be reversed.
When Henson speaks before groups, he avoids polarizing political issues, such as gay marriage (Henson supports traditional marriage), seeing them as so divisive they destroy the common ground he seeks.
I don't believe sin exists, but if it did I think one of those sins would be trying to prevent people from having something you enjoy. In fact, Henson refers to his ex-partner as "beautiful". In the words of Christopher Hitchens, religion poisons everything. Why does he still think something is "beautiful" that is oh so sinful?


  1. The bible doesn't condemn homosexuals or even homosexual urges, but only homosexual acts, and only those between men at that.

  2. Gmal, I believe Jesus at some point says something about if you lust for someone in your heart, you have committed adultery. I would say that can be reasonably extrapolated out to say that while God may only hate sexually active homosexuals, Jesus hates anyone who thinks about it. Not cool, Jesus.

  3. Would sex between 2 unmarried men be considered adultery? If not, then perhaps what Jesus said about adultery doesn't apply here.

  4. Like I said, it's about extrapolation. If Jesus declares lusting to be equal to sex in the case of adultery, then it's reasonable to assume he means the same of any kind of sexual act.

    Furthermore, it depends on who you ask. Some people argue that any kind of sex between any non-heterosexual married couple is adultery. I've had Christians claim that rape is covered under the adultery clause in the 10 commandments. It just goes to show that ambiguous texts like this should never be used to form moral sensibilities, much less nationwide legislation.

  5. It's dangerous to assume anything about the bible that isn't spelled out, and "reasonableness" is certainly not a standard I would associate with religious dogma in general.

    In both the OT and NT, adultery is specifically discussed in the context of cheating on one's spouse (or violating another man's "property"). The fact that at least one of the people is already married is crucial to the situation where the term is used. One can claim that any word in the bible means whatever you want it to mean, but that doesn't mean there's any support for your interpretation in the text.

  6. If you lust in your heart you have committed a sexual sin--homosexual or hetero--and God does not hate you for it. In fact--Ezekiel 27:23 (ESV) "...But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." and earlier in Ezekiel (33:11-ESV) "Say to them, As I live, declares the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turns from his way and live; turn back, turn back from you evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?"

    Belief is the fulfillment--it is the requirement for salvation from sin.
    Romans 3: 21-26 (NIV)

    "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

  7. I can never tell if posts like this are sarcastic or not. The crazy is really hard to decipher.

  8. Paul says this when he goes on trial, ""I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable."

    If you consider me crazy then you're considering the Author crazy. He calls us to look at the ourselves, see that we do evil, and turn from that evil by coming to God (like a wicked child to a perfect Father) in repentance. That is salvation. That's all you have to do--have belief.

    I think it's crazy that the God who put us here to be in a relationship with Him would forgive us for turning from Him, and loving ourselves only- but thankfully He does.

  9. So you're not crazy because you say you're not crazy? Awesome, then by biblical logic, a rapist who says he's innocent is telling the truth, and the courts should let him free.... but only if he calls the judge most excellent.

    *I* think it's crazy that you would believe in something as blatantly ridiculous as your god. It's crazier still that you think you have developed enough of a relationship with this imaginary friend of yours to know what he wants of us. The craziest thing of all though is that you're under the impression that said god is all-forgiving. In case you haven't been reading, he's actually an immature douchebag who destroys entire civilizations just because he's having a bad day.... so congratulations, you're a nutjob on three levels.

    As an aside, I do wonder if religious zeal is clinically considered a mental disorder. It certainly should be.

  10. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs- you consider your zeal for your beliefs a mental disorder? I don't think I'm being cruel by stating my beliefs, whereas your position has led you to be derogatory.

    Review both sides of the goodness of God. You can put your own emotions into God, saying that he is an immature douchebag, but if God truly is Holy and Just, and He put us here to be in a relationship with Him, and the people of the Old Testament turned from Him and worshipped themselves, then they deserved punishment.
    If He truly is Holy, then we all deserve punishment because we follow our own ways, but through Israel God brought grace to everyone who will turn to Him- at the time he chose to punish some to save many more later.

    As for the 'imaginary' God, to say that God is imaginary is pretty philosophically wack. Prove to me that you're real and not some subjective vibration rippling through the unconscious mind or soul, or whatever. "I think therefore I am"-Descartes, "I think therefore, I think I am"- Wendell Berry. We must trust that the things we sense are real to form beliefs-and why? Why is it that you're willing to believe that you exist, and other people outside of you exist, but you won't believe that a Being allows and sustains everything's existence, or believe that a Being allows you to believe that things exist?



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