Originally Posted by stevieray
first things first..do you believe the Bible to be literally true?
Fair enough, I'll answer your question.
No, I absolutely do not believe the Bible to be literally true. I don't believe that Eve was created from Adam's rib, I don't believe that Cain had children with a woman who could be nothing other than his sister, I don't believe that God transformed Lot's wife into a pillar of salt to punish her for turning around and taking a peak at the city they were fleeing from, and I don't believe that Noah built an ark and put two of every dinosaur, ape, elephant, lion, rhinoceros, rattlesnake, penguin, polar bear, and every other animal of the face of the earth on it. I also don't believe that God created the earth 6,000 years ago and then put fossils into rocks and rigged all of the carbon dating technologies just to mess with us and say "Ha, ha, fooled you!".
Thinking of the Bible as a book of fables rather than thinking of it as the literally true word of God allows me to have the freedom to believe in a God who created the Universe and everything in it, while at the same time believing in a God who would NEVER EVER EVER order people to do some of the evil and heinous things that were done in His name in the Old Testament.
I believe that the Bible was written by men, not God. And while these men probably had very good intentions, they were a product of their times, and their writings reflect what they knew. They didn't understand the inherent evil and immorality of genocide and mass rape. Just because the men who wrote the book men insisted that the Bible is the true, literal, and divinely-inspired word of God, that doesn't mean I have to believe what those men said. Even if they insist that I'll be tortured forever in the non-consuming flames of hell if I dare to think for myself and draw my own conclusions, I still don't have to believe what those men say. If I were to hear God say it directly to me, that would be different.
Now, how about if you answer my second question?
By the way, kudos to you for engaging in a dialogue. The best response Killer Clown came up with was to tell me to take it up with God if I have a problem with Him ordering people to rape and murder.