The Bible – A Manual of Bad Morals

Headline – the religious page of The Leader-Post Newspaper of Saturday the 24th of October, 2009 (Page G5) “Nobel winner calls Bible ‘a manual of bad morals'”

It seems that a Nobel Prize winning author – 86 year old Jose Saramago – at the launch of his new book “Cain”, which is an ironic retelling of the Bible story of Cain, Adam and Eve’s elder son who kills his brother Abel, stated that the Bible is a “handbook of bad morals” and that society would probably be better off without the Bible.

He stated: “The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and our way of life. Without the Bible we would be different, and probably better people.”

His attack included comments about God when he states that the God we worship and serve is “…a cruel, jealous and unbearable God (who) exists only in our heads”

When I read this article I felt like saying“so what else is new? Stand in line along with every other atheist and serious deceived agnostic in the world today.” My second thought was: “Have you even read the Bible and tried to come to understand God as He is revealed from Genesis to Revelation or are you just forming opinions based on a feeling or on hearsay?” And, a third thought: “What makes you – an author of novels and someone who has left the church and now throws rocks at her – an expert on the subject and thus someone who speaks up and speaks as fact something that is just your opinion?”

Folks, this kind of comment from this type of person is becoming quite common and he is just one of many making comments such as this in public about something he knows little about. But he does have an audience and they do listen to him – and so should we. So, I didn’t say any of my thoughts to him and wouldn’t even if given an opportunity. I would, instead, listen and try to uncover or discover the hurt in his life and why he believes as he does – because he sincerely believes what he is stating.

We need desperately to understand apologetics. Apologetics is from the Greek [apologia], which means to make a plea for, or make a defense of whatever is in view. It is the branch of theology that is concerned with the defense of Christian doctrines. But, it is something that not just theologians and scholars should be involved in. It is something that every believer should be able to do – to defend the faith and speak on behalf of the Christian faith from a basis of understanding of both the Bible and the Christian faith.

But, regretfully most believers today do not really know what it is that the Christian faith teaches (the basic doctrines) nor are they knowledgable in defending the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This, I believe, is not a failing of the believer but a failure of the leaders of the Church. We have not properly equipped the saints.

It is my hope and dream that with the reintroduction of apostles to the church that this new leadership will help, in time, to rectify this situation and allow believers to stand firmly upon the truth once again – to know what they believe, why they believe it and how to defend it. It will take a while for apostles to sort their way through this and to develop a “list of basic doctrines” of the Christian faith – the “apostolic doctrines” mentioned is Acts 2:42 – but it will happen and I am already involved in just such a project for my work overseas in the former Soviet Union nations where the need for such a series of basic teachings is so important and so desperately needed.

Meanwhile, here in North America there are some great books out there to help equip believers who will take the time to read and to learn…
1> Who Made God (and answers to over 100 other tough questions of faith) by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler.
2> The Faith by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett.
3> The Christian and the Pharisee by Dr. R.T. Kendall and Rabbi David Rosen.

It’s a start anyways…

7 replies
  1. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Folks,
    Just visited your blog … it comes up as info for me when someone new makes a comment on my blog and it needs approval the first three times until the machine knows you are “safe”.
    I especially liked your blog on your trip to South Dakota. I have visited that state a number of times (in the Brookings- Souix Falls area)and have enjoyed sights and sounds both ways – also done it with 5 kids (the 6th was not born yet) and so relate to some of your comments re. the kids in the back seat…

    Thanks for visiting – and let’s keep in touch.

  2. Sharon Kuhn
    Sharon Kuhn says:

    Maybe the foundational truths of the church should be made in a point form and have everyone in the church memorize it and then be able to recite it from memory.
    I actually did just that last Sunday, I just haven’t made them memorize and recite yet. I just got fed up with comments about why can’t we pray at hme instead of in church cause it takes up too much time and on and on the issues go.
    1) the infallibility of scri;ture
    2) the virgin birth
    3) the siinless llife
    4) the atoning death
    5) the bodily resurrection
    6) the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ
    7) our need to be saved, baptized, filled with the Holy spirit and to carry the gospel to the four corners of the earth announcing the soon return of Jesus to rule and reign.

  3. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    what we need today is for God’s people in the “charismatic church” to revisit some of the earlier documents of the Christian Church such as the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed and the Creed of St, Athanasius. These contained the essentials of the Christian faith and would quickly add a number of things to your “essentials list” such as the Trinity, Heaven and Hell, Justification, Sanctification, the second coming, the final judgment, forgiveness, the Church, the resurrecrion of believers, and life after this one into eternity … just to name a few.
    The “apostles doctrine comments on in Acts 2:42 is extensive and apparently there is no standard list of what they included in this broad category. So, we are having to sort this through today and this is some of the first work apostles need to be doing.
    By the way, Bob and I have begun such a list and the research and writing needed to teach this basic content to believers. I have been preaching a number of series over the past year on these basics – the Bible (actually taught here, Ukraine youth camp, and in march in Belarus at a youth week) and currently the Holy Spirit. Basic but necessary teachings.

    Good to hear from you – keep up the good work at Way of Wisdom Church in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Second comment:
    A good book to work with for a series of sermons (like skipping the stone across the waters and touching a lot of the basics without the depth) is:
    The LIFE WE CLAIM – The Apostles’ Creed for Preaching, Teaching, and Worship by James C. Howell ISBN 0-687-49353-6

  5. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Once of the nice things about being the originator of the blog is I can go in and edit anything and everything I want to … sorry about messing up the name of your church … I have done that a hundred times I am sure … I have corrected it above to Way of Wisdom and not Word of Wisdom. My sincere apologies. I hope I got it straight and will keep it straight from now on. Will write and email with some potential dates re.being with you …


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