There is a recurrent pattern in the blatterings and bellerings of all irrationalizing carnal "christians," pseudo-christians and anti-Christian cultic heretics who hate God's authority and perfection requirements which I have noticed throughout my years of observation and discussion.
It is an immentality characteristic of all false-"evangelical" fake-"christian" apostates of every shade, degree, type, and variation.
It consists of them flippantly and arrogantly mindlessly muttering the likes of: "It all depends how you interpret Scripture," or: "That verse in the Bible has to be taken in context."
Or: "Oh, that is to be understood symbolically or metaphorically. Most "scholars" take that as an allegory and NOT literally."
Does that not sound like the very first original deceit which the Tempting Serpent uttered in the Garden of Eden to birthday-suit-bare Eve?"
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?" [a clearly-overbroad sadistic-sounding misrepresentative generalization!]
Genesis 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent [who, incidently, was under no obligation whatsoever to dialogue with The Devil], "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Genesis 3:3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" [The clothes-free preacheress added the "touch it" part, according to Genesis 2:16-17]
Genesis 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die...."
"You will not die." "It all depends upon how you interpret that word 'die,' Eve." "You don't have a CLUE as to what the word die might mean, so don't you want God-like knowledge to find out in your insatiable curiosity?" "That word die has to be taken in context, Eve." "Eve, the word die could be a mere symbol, metaphor, allegory, whatever...but might not necessarily be taken literally."
What words do we take literally from others in everyday life as we move from the house to the roadways to the business office to the stores to our places of entertainment? What words from others do we take literally in our interaction with the government, with the police, with cashiers at service stations, restaurants, and for utility services?
And, conversely, what words do we expect others to take literally from us, pertaining to personal actions, behavior, protocol, timely appointment-keeping, monetary payments, transactions, contracts, stoplights and other highway signs? Does red mean: "go" and green mean: "stop?"
As we readily perceive, MOST of our communication from and to others involves verbal and written intercourse which is given, taken, expected to be given, and expected to be taken: quite literally -- and if such is NOT given and taken literally, there is inevitable and sometimes shockingly-sudden confusion, misunderstandings, irritation, anger, retaliation, slander and libel, assault, and frequently painful or even lethal accidents.
The irrationalization Satan imposed on totally-naked Eve did not eradicate nor abolish the predicted dire consequences of disbelieving disobedience:
Genesis 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die.
5 For God knows [Satan speaks for GOD?] that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God [what do you mean: "like" God?], knowing good and evil."
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [Oh, was it now?], and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise ["wise" - or despicably and deplorably stupid?], she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked ["whoopie?" or instead: "shame!?"]; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons [Clearly, it was: "Shame!"].
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
10 And he said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? [The Secret's out, but...so WHAT?]] Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"
12 The man said, "The woman whom You to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." [Punishment follows]
Gullibly misbelieving a lie. Then passing the buck, and blaming someone or something else.
"Well, that Bible verse only applied to some ancient people a long time ago, and no longer applies to us nowadays." "There are many different Bibles, and none of them agree." "That is meant to be interpreted as referencing Old-Testament-times pagan idolatry, and has no direct application for us presently." "The older and possibly more accurate manuscripts are better." "Theological experts do not agree on the meaning of that word." And on and on and on, ad nauseum.
It's the same old, same old.
Admittedly, there are some portions of Scripture which plainly were written in poetic form, seemingly like a story or fairy tale or legend to some misinterpreters....but which linguistically-poetic format certainly does not make the Scriptural info stated incorrect nor wrong.
Some words seem to require a symbolic application and interpretation. Bizarre once-in-history-happening miracles could have transpired, without being recorded in Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Attributing horns and other animal-like features to humans is a little far-fetched, and it seems that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus is downright disgusting and illegal, as is the almost-absurd claim of having died in Christ and been buried with Him in baptism after being crucified with Him on some cross.
How does one properly distinguish the literal....in stark contrast to the symbolic, allegorical, metaphorical, figures of speech euphemisms?
How do we normally distinguish jokes, euphemisms, figures of speech, the symbolic vs. the literal in everyday life -- as we move from the house to the roadways to the business office to the stores to our places of entertainment? What words from others do we take literally in our interaction with the government, with the police, with cashiers at service stations, restaurants, and for utility services?
And, conversely, what words do we expect others to take literally from us, pertaining to personal actions, behavior, protocol, timely appointment-keeping, monetary payments, scientific and computer descriptions and technical terms, transactions, contracts, stoplights and other highway signs?
We are creatures of language, and always have been - strikingly differentiating us from subhuman lifeforms.
For example, when we see a billboard photo of a man's arm reaching out to touch the furry-armed paw of a caged kitten, and read the bassendackwards caption concocted by some wacko-environmentalist animal-humane nutcase: "Who will choose you?" - it almost goes without saying that the caption should logically be revised and re-worded with: "Who will choose what?" because only a human is a who (whereas a cat is merely a what) and only a human can choose (whereas a cat can only instinctually react).
Verses applicable to the previous paragraph are:
Numbers 22:22 But God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the ass [affectionately called: Mr. Ed, recognized by many of you baby-boomers?], and his two servants were with him [newsreporters, no less?].
23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the road, and went into the field; and Balaam struck the ass, to turn her into the road.
25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall, and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her again.
26 Then the angel of the LORD went ahead, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.
27 When the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the ass with his staff.
28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"
29 And Balaam said to the ass, "Because you have made sport of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you."
30 And the ass said to Balaam, "Am I not your ass, upon which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Was I ever accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No."
31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
32 And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your ass these three times? Behold, I have come forth to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me;
33 and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have slain you and let her live."
34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again."
35 And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak." So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.
Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Matthew 10:31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows [plus polar bears and other Endangered Species].
Luke 12:7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows [plus E.P.A.-worshipped polar bears and other Endangered Species].
First Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned?
The command of Creator God (who, according to the first chapters of both the Biblical books of Colossians and Hebrews was: the Lord Jesus Christ), telling primal ancestral parents Adam and Eve to "have dominion" over all Earth-residing lifeforms (read Genesis 1:28)....obviously has been, is being, and will continue to be in effect.
Animal pets are on leash - NOT the humans who leashed them - and such will remain so, despite the heretical special-effects and related presumptive-possibility inferences to the opposite, perpetrated by such mythical fairy-tale concoctions as "Planet of the Apes" (lamentably co-starring otherwise-respected Moses-figure Charlton Heston).
Adam (without inferior-gender Forbidden-Tree-fruit-grabber Eve around to mouth off her mindlessness) named the animals back in the beginning of Earth's history, and it almost goes without saying that he who names is clearly superior to that which is named.
Humankind is the zookeeper over animals, and not vice-versa....regardless of the most "intelligent"-appearing and elaborate instinctual responses and reflexes of particularly exotically-trained animals to environmental stimuli, notably involving acquisition of food and drink plus aversion to abuse.
The naturally-run-away-from-humans fear which larger-or-smaller-than-humans animals display is in no way comparable to the caution and control humans exhibit toward all sizes and types of lower lifeforms:
Genesis 9:2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered.
Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook, or press down his tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?
3 Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak to you soft words?
4 Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant for ever?
5 Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on leash for your maidens?
6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?
8 Lay hands on him; think of the battle; you will not do it again!
9 Hey, the hope of a man is disappointed; he is laid low even at the sight of him.
10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he that can stand before Me?
11 Who has given to Me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine."
Getting back to both Eve and Balaam, and nude Eve in particular [Oh yes!], was God fair and just to not give Eve and Adam volumes of books and videos rife and reeking with the devastating far-reaching consequences of them sinning that mere one time only (contrary to heretics and apostates who purport that it takes perpetual practice and therefore MUCH more than one little sin to go to Hell, and that one can repeatedly touch and get electrocuted by high-voltage substation transformers, copiously attach mouth to the exhaust pipe of a running motorcycle and deeply inhale, jump off more than one bridge now and then to the rocks below, etc. before one is injured or dies).
Thank God for Poison and High Voltage and other warning signs:
Romans 10:14 But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?
Advertise. Don't be bashful. Titanic victims deserve to know where the lifeboats and preservers are before it's too late.
If God HAD shown Eve and Adam the horrific temporary-and-permanent disaster of future suffering, pain, diseases, accidents, misery, etc. because of chowing on that accursed fruit only one time, WOULD our ancestral parents never have even come close to that Forbidden Tree -- no matter what the damned misinforming and misrepresenting snake mouthed in his insidious deviant indoctrination?
Lamentably, when we think about it, would that have mattered? Perhaps not, like many in our modern times and those expired before us, who take it upon themselves to question, with a disbelieving doubting retort of: "Oh, that could never happen!" "I would NEVER be electrocuted touching the live hot cable of a substation transformer!" "Besides, how do you know for sure that the power would even be on?" "Maybe it wouldn't hurt me if I tried; there's always a first time." "Superman and the Matrix trenchcoats fly through the air, so I also can jump off a bridge with sharp rocks below, and fly like a bird." "Maybe gravity will be inconsistent, as when Jesus rose up like a NASA rocket on Ascension Day according to the Bible." "They shall drink any poison and it will not hurt them" according to the last chapter of the New-Testament gospel of Mark.
Oh yeah. Oh sure. Shall we "put God to the test" by jumping off the temple top with no parachute? Walk on water without icehouses around?
To a lot of people, mere "belief" seems childishly simplistic. The "....if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9) maxim seems a cheap copout to some.
My wife has, on occasion, told me: "Just do what I say, and nobody will get hurt" - when she wants to surprise me.
The price for disbelief and associated disobedience, as stated by the examples of high-voltage transformers, radioactivity, explosives, poison, nerve gas, irresponsible handling of loaded firearms...can be fatal.
So, IS God to blame for not informing us of approaching mosquitos, poisonous snakes and spiders and sting rays, wasps and hornets, lightning and hail and tornadoes and earthquakes? Is HE at fault for not informing us "completely"-enough what would be the dire effects if we did this or that?
This morning, at church, the sermon text was The Parable of the Sower, found in:
Matthew 13:3 And He told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
Mark 4:3 "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
Luke 8:5 "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it."
"Parables" are stories intended to convey all kinds of meanings for appropriate applications. Whether or not based in historical fact is somewhat irrelevant, although (as the reader will remember from the above-mentioned elaboration on what is and is not to be taken literally compared to being symbolically or allegorically or metaphorically standing for something literally existent and probably vital to know), a parable might be a make-believe myth, spoken to make a compelling point or points.
In the Parable of the Sower, the Planter scatters seed here and there rather indiscriminately:
Matthew 5:45 ....so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the injust.
.....and it falls first on the equivalent of self-righteous atheist and agnostic soil (snatched away by the Devil because of deliberate rejection of anti-authority pompous-ass disbelievers):
Psalm 14:1 To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good [and who presumed that atheists were so-called "good" people?].
Psalm 53:1 To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none that does good. [ditto]
....then on those who suck up anything new that comes along but fade out when confrontation and trouble relating to the seed develops:
Psalm 119:113 I hate double-minded men, but I love Your law.
John 15:4 Reside in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it resides in the vine, neither can you, unless you reside in Me.
John 15:6 If a man does not reside in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will reside in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and reside in His love.
Second Timothy 4:10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
Philemon 1:23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,
Philemon 1:24 ....and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
First John 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning reside in you. If what you heard from the beginning resides in you, then you will reside in the Son and in the Father.
First John 2:27 but the anointing which you received from Him resides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as His anointing teaches you about everything [no need to read Apocrypha nor UFO novels], and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, reside in Him.
First John 2:28 And now, little children, reside in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming.
First John 3:24 All who keep His commandments reside in Him, and He in them. And by this we know that He resides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.
First John 4:13 By this we know that we reside in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His own Spirit.
Second John 1:9 Any one who goes ahead and does not stay in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who stays in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.
Second Timothy 3:6 For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses,
Second Timothy 3:7 who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Second Timothy 3:8 As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith;
Second Timothy 3:9 but they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
James 1:7 For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
.....then on those who willfully are preoccupied with the entangling thorns of money-acquisitional diversions, greedily wasting their time and money at casinos on Sunday mornings, finagling business dealings on the golf course when they should be contributing to Sunday-morning church offering plates, partying late Saturday causing them to lay in bed on Sunday morning to sleep off drunkenness, self-justifying hypocrites themselves decrying church-going repentant hypocrites while presuming they are getting brownie points for heaven by jogging or bicycling or playing tennis on Sunday morning instead of participating in church, etc.
Is the problem with the Seed Planter? MUST He carefully plant each seed underground so as to "not waste them?"
Job 36:23 Who has prescribed for Him His way, or who can say, 'You have done wrong'?
Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.
Romans 9:20 But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?"
Romans 9:21 Has the Potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?
James 4:12 There is one Lawgiver and Judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?
No! The problem is with the self-determined hard roadway nothing can grow on, the self-determined rocky soil, the self-determined thorny soil!
WHO has created each type, and allows each to continue as such?
Romans 3:4 "....Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, "That You may be justified in Your words, and prevail when You are judged."
John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them."
Romans 11:7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what they sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened...
Second Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.
But who hardens who to begin with? Who causes the problem: disbelieving and disobedient follow-up wayward defiant humans.....or the Lord?
Exodus 8:32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
First Samuel 6:6 Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? After he had made sport of them, did not they let the people go, and they departed?
It is safest (when dubious) to take the words of Scripture as they are and thus The Word of God, as it is - without weaselworded revisionism, nor going off on some beat-around-the-bush symbolic/metaphorical/allegorical-interpretation/context tangent.
Words are plainly defined by Webster's dictionaries, and further defined by common-sense rightful association with the phenomena of our God-created environment, in which Christ-inspired reason should seamlessly integrate with both natural objects and natural processes. Those who defy such end up dead - both understandably and thankfully so.
Accomodate...and live. Defy rebelliously...and die, sooner or later, painfully or whatever, then burn in Hell forever.
The Almighty Omnipotent and Omnipresent Intelligent Designer does not stand down to anyone, nor does He back off:
Job 34:33 Will He then make requital to suit you, because you reject it? For you must choose, and not I; therefore declare what you know.
In conclusion, the God Who Imposed the Practically-Impossible-to-Not-Eventually-Succomb-To Stumbling Blocks of The Tempting Serpent, The Noxious-But-Pretty Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Dangerous Human Freewill in the Garden.... compensated for it all by making it simple for us and "hard" for Him: Embarrassingly limiting Himself to an infinitesmal speck of dust in the Universe called 'Earth,' upon which He was conceived a finite helpless preborn babe, then being born shamefully naked, sucking on mommy-Mary's milk-rich tits, then slandered and murdered by a bunch of jealous disbelieving kikes who forced duressed Roman soldiers to also defile themselves thereby....but thus becoming The Resurrected Lifeform who we merely have to believe is every penitent person's Redemptive Atoner and Ticket Into Heaven.